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The Gilbertson Report on Sabotage at Three Mile Island 

The Harrisburg Hoax 

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Putting TMI 
Back On Line 


The series that won 

the Freedoms Foundation George 

Washington Honor Medal for 1979: 

"An outstanding accomplishment in helping 
to achieve a better understanding of the American way of life." 


1. Introduction: Why TMI Was Sabotaged 
4. The Harrisburg Hoax (May, 1979) 

15. Investigating the Hoax: The "Purloined Nuclear Plant" 

(June, 1979) 

23. The Independent Commission's Findings (July, 1979) 

33. The NRC Report: Refusal to Investigate the Obvious 

(Sept., 1979) 

36. The Rogovin Report: A Schizoid View of TMI 

37. One Year Later: Putting TMI Back On Line (April, 1980) 


Within days of the Three Mile Island incident, the Fusion 
Energy Foundation and its Director of Nuclear Engineering, Jon 
C. Gilbertson, had launched the investigation of the possibility 
of sabotage which led to the Independent Commission of Investi- 
gation into the Three Mile Island Incident, and to these 
articles . 

We knew at the outset that "The Harrisburg Hoax" was linked 
to the other notorious case of sabotage of high-technology energy 
production — the great oil hoaxes of 1974 and 1979. We stated in 
April 1979 that the target of the so-called environmentalists and 
their "one-world government" sponsors was not merely nuclear 
power, but the entire U.S. potential for capital formation in 
high technology energy production and industry . 

Since the oil hoax of 1974, further industrial progress in 
the advanced countries and industrialization potential to rescue 
the Third World, could be saved in only one way: the massive 
investment of oil marketing revenues in nuclear power -led high- 
technology energy production, capital formation in nuclear 
fission, breeder development, thermonuclear fusion research, 
"nuplex" -style agro-industrial complexes in the developing sec- 
tor. This will not happen automatically through "free-market 
forces" no matter how high the price of oil, but through conscious 
national policy decisions by sovereign nations, as the French 
nation is now showing the way. 

The Harrisburg Hoax was intended to foreclose this possibility. 
It its wake we have seen the ongoing collapse of the American 
nuclear industry, and the onset of a hyper inflationary, high- 
interest rate regime in America which will destroy our technolo- 
gical potentials in short order. As the Federal Emergency Manage- 
ment Agency's instant involvement in TMI warned us last April, 
the environmentalist path after TMI led toward emergency credit 
controls and forced national investment of tens of billions of 
dollars in hideously inefficient synthetic fuel boondoggles. 


One year after the Three Mile Island events, the truth continues 
to lie buried under a mountain of distorted press reports and in- 
vestigative commissions. Publically acknowledged cases of sabotage 
of nuclear facilities, or obvious attempts at sabotage, have occurred 
during that one year in Virginia, Tennessee, Long Island, and in 
France, with the FBI involved in investigating at least two of these 
cases. Now, in Maine, environmentalist are extending the attack to 
the U.S. Constitution itself, defying the Constitution and the U.S. 
Supreme Court ruling in the Dow-Midland case, with a "states rights" 
petition to shut down operating nuclear plants by referendum. 
Because TMI has been used as the lever to escalate the policies 
putting the U.S. nuclear industry out of business, it is critical 
to restate the basic facts in the case. 

1) There is still no explanation why two different valves on the 
back-up steam generator water-cooling system were turned off at 
the time of the initial steam generator trip-out. The only possible 
explanation, in fact, is sabotage . Yet the FBI and other agencies 
have not investigated this possibility seriously. 

2)Kemeny Commission and NRC hearings indicated that it took 7 to 
8 minutes for the operating crew to discover that the valves were 
turned off. This contributed to increasing the heating load in the 
core and to confusion in the control room about how to handle this. 

3) Had the back-up valves been on, then even the sticking open of 
the pressure relief valve (attached to the core cooling system) 
would not have created the conditions in the core that resulted in 
the temporary cutoff of core cooling water by the operators. The 
plant would have simply shut down temporarily, as has occurred in 
many other steam generator trip-out cases. 

4) Presidential Commission chairman Kemeny, in fact, referenced 
the case of the Davis-Bessey plant in Ohio in the December issue 
of the Dartmouth alumni magazine. There too the pressure relief 
valve stuck open after the steam generator tripped out. As at TMI , 
the failure of the pressure indicator correctly to reflect the 
actual water level in the core was at first not understood by the 
operators. But within 2£ minutes they did detect and cure the 
condition. At TMI, with the closed backup valves complicating the 
situation, it took several hours to find the stuck relief valve. 

Even so, as we reported at the time, there was never any poss- 
ibility of a "China Syndrome" scenario. This syndrome was invoked 
after the press and NRC issued erroneous reports about the possi- 
bility of a hydrogen explosion or a "meltdown" induced by a hydro- 
gen bubble. 


No review of TMI would be complete without mention of the per- 
son the NRC selected to head up its investigation into the TMI 
incident — Mitchell Rogovin. Rogovin is once again in the public 
eye because, at NRC request, he is reopening the TMI investigation 
to determine whether TMI officials suspected a "China Syndrome" 
early in the incident and did not make their alleged suspicions 
known. This investigation, like the first, is billed as "fair." 
Yet attorney Rogovin is a fellow of and general counsel to the 
Institute for Policy Studies, an anti-nuclear, pro-terrorist 
institution based in Washington, D.C. that, among other things, 
promotes the "decentralization" of the U.S. economy and the rewri- 
ting of the U.S. Constitution. 

Rogovin is also a member of the New York Council on Foreign 
Relations, the same group that has called for the "controlled 
disintegration" of the U.S. and world economies and the destruction 
of stable oil and nuclear energy supplies, in a series of volumes 
they call The 1980's Project . Rogovin is not the only member of 
the Council on Foreign Relations directly involved. The author of 

the 1980' s Project volume on nuclear proliferation, which 
calls outright for the phasing out of nuclear power worldwide, 
is the "energy expert" of the Kemeny Commission, Professor Ted 
Taylor of Princeton University. 

The just-completed special feature article in this report, on 
cleaning up the TMI mess and revamping the nuclear industry, shows 
what could be done if we ended the sabotage of nuclear power. 

The nation has already lost about a decade's worth of progress 
in the development of standardized nuclear power plants, breeders, 
and high-temperature gas reactors. The only way to produce the 
energy needs and new technologies for a growing world economy over 
the next two decades is to get back on the track of mass production 
of nuclear plants for domestic use and export. 

The slogan of the Atoms for Peace program of the 1950 's is as 
appropriate today as it was then: "2000 by the year 2000." 

Special Report 

The Harrisburg Hoax 

All-Out War on Nuclear Energy 

1. The FEF States the Case for Sabotage 

2. What Happened at the Three Mile Island Plant 

3. The Crisis Chain of Command 

4. Harrisburg: Facts and Fiction 

5. The Big Lie About Radiation 

6. The Jane Fonda Syndrome 

The FEF States 
the Case 
for Sabotage 

The incident at Three Mile Island 
nuclear plant in Middletown, Penn- 
sylvania began March 28 and unfold- 
ed like the H.G. Wells story "War of 
the Worlds" broadcast by CBS radio in 
Oct. 1938. As in that bit of masterful 
psychological warfare that presented 
a fictional invasion from Mars as 
"news," there never was any real 
danger from the incident itself. The 
danger came from the panic created 
by those presenting the "news" of the 

As shown in this special report, the 
Three Mile Island event was man- 
aged by the Federal Emergency Man- 
agement Agency, a newly created 
federal agency working closely with 
the White House and the National Se- 
curity Council that went into effect 
March 27 — one day before the event 
and five days before its legally man- 
dated implementation date; Pennsyl- 

vania Governor Richard Thornburgh, 
who was in direct touch with the 
White House and FEMA and who or- 
dered the evacuation of pregnant 
women and young children; the Nu- 
clear Regulatory Commission, which 
issued unscientific and inflammatory 
reports on the situation that were 
counter to the actual facts; and the 
national press and media, which op- 
erated like the Goebbels propaganda 
machine in Nazi Germany, convinc- 
ing the population of things that were 
not true. 

Soon after the story broke, a Fusion 
Energy Foundation investigatory team 
began to ascertain the actual facts of 
the matter, calling the utilities in- 
volved, local, state, and federal offi- 
cials, and nuclear experts across the 
nation. As the press reports became 
more hysterical and the layers of con- 
tradictory "official" reports contin- 
ued to grow, the FEF sent staff mem- 
ber Jon Gilbertson, one of the top nu- 
clear safety engineers in the country, 
to the Harrisburg area to get the story 
first hand. 


As reported in detail below, the sci- 
entific and technical facts of the Three 
Mile Island nuclear plant incident as 
determined by the investigation gave 

the FEF reason to believe that sabo- 
tage and not "human error" was the 
cause of the accident. The FEF team 
assembled the evidence, piecing to- 
gether the story of what actually hap- 
pened from a variety of sources, each 
of whom had bits and pieces of the 
event but no overview. 

In brief, the FEF thesis was that the 
chain of events at Three Mile Island 
could not have occurred without the 
complicity of some form of sabotage 
at the scene. Furthermore, the timing 
of the event was not accidental but 
fed in directly to an intensification of 
the Carter administration's policy of 
imposing stringent energy austerity 
and a systematic shutdown of the 
economy in the United States, coor- 
dinated with vigorous moves to do 
the same in the developing sector. 

Once the scenario was established, 
the FEF began to get the real story out. 
From the New York FEF office, staff 
members briefed the utilities, gov- 
ernment officials, the scientific com- 
munity, and the public, including a 
dozen radio interviews. Jon Gilbert- 
son, FEF director of nuclear engi- 
neering, held a well-attended press 
conference in the Pennsylvania state 
capitol building April 4, and Dr. 
Morris Levitt, FEF executive director, 


briefed members of the press and dip- 
lomatic community at a press confer- 
ence in Washington, D.C. the same 

By Friday, April 6, the FEF had put 
together a Three Mile Island dossier 
and invited press and industry and 
government representatives to a spe- 
cial three-hour briefing, cospon- 
sored with the Executive Intelligence 
Review. At the briefing, Jon Gilbert- 
son, FEF director of research Uwe 
Parpart, and Executive Intelligence 
Review counterintelligence specialist 
Jeffrey Steinberg reported on the evi- 
dence and the political context for the 
incident, and suggested the proper 
lines of an investigation. 

As Morris Levitt put it, a proper in- 
vestigation would have to use the 
method of Edgar Allan Poe. This 
means that the investigators should 
"not look under beds and sewer cov- 
ers, but differentiate among those 
facts that are out in the open that are 
meant to take you on a wild goose 
chase as opposed to those facts that 
are out in the open that can be put 
together coherently to explain both 
the specific event as well as the con- 
text in which it occurs." Specifically, 
Steinberg later told the audience, 
they should look for who was to gain 
from the Harrisburg incident and who 
had the capability to pull it off. 

To date, aside from the Swedish and 
Mexican press, the major interna- 
tional press has blacked out the sabo- 
tage story. 

In This Special Report 

Summaries of the special briefing 
presentations by Jon Gilbertson and 
Jeffrey Steinberg are presented here, 
along with a day-by-day grid of what 
happened, what the press wrote, what 
the NRC said, and what the press said 
the NRC said. In addition, the special 
report summarizes the facts of the 
major myths: the bubble, the "melt- 
down," and the radiation scare. It also 
includes some excerpts from the press 
and presents a review of "The China 
Syndrome," the newly released Co- 
lumbia Pictures film about a nuclear 
accident that resembles the press cov- 
erage in the Three Mile Island event. 

(Transcripts of the special briefing are available 
from the FEF at $50 each, $20 for FEF members.) 

What Happened at the 
Three Mile Island Plant 

What happened within the first few 
minutes to approximately two hours 
after the initiation of the accident 
March 28 at 4 AM was an incredible 
chain of events that could not have 
occurred without deliberate acts of 
sabotage by one or more persons in- 
side the reactor plant. 

The event was initiated by a failure 
of the main secondary steam genera- 
tor system flow valve that apparently 
shut off because of a still unknown 
"malfunction." This failure then 
caused the shutdown of two feed- 
water pumps, because they could no 
longer draw suction from this flow 
stream. The turbine tripped out (shut 
down) almost immediately, and the 
steam flow was bypassed directly to 
the condenser. 

At this point, there should have 
been no further problems and normal 
shutdown of the piant should have 
followed immediately as standard 

After the main valve malfunction 
occurred, what should have hap- 
pened is the automatic start-up of 
three auxiliary feedwater pumps that 
would have supplied more than am- 
ple cooling for the steam generators 
during a shutdown condition. 

This procedure is entirely normal 
recovery following such a valve mal- 
function. The problem that now oc- 
curred was that the auxiliary feed- 
water pumps came on line but 
couldn't draw water because two 
parallel valves were closed. These 
valves would have provided water 
supply to the three auxiliary pumps, 
which then would have provided 
make-up (emergency) water to the 
steam generator systems. 

With no make-up water supply now 
available to the secondary steam gen- 
erator system, the nuclear reactor 
core and the primary coolant system 
were isolated from their heat sink, 
with no normal or back-up method 
for dumping heat. At this point, the 
primary coolant system began slowly 

to heat up and the primary system 
pressure rose. The reactor now trip- 
ped out and the nuclear fission pro- 
cess was brought to a stop. All this 
took place within the first 10 to 15 sec- 
onds into the "accident." 

Before describing what happened 
after this, it is important to discuss the 
improbability of even getting the so- 
called accident to this stage of events. 
Furthermore, I shall describe what we 
already know to have happened and 
what most probably did happen. 

The mathematical probability of the 
mechanical failure of the main flow 
valve and feedwater pump systems 
(failure 1 in the figure) is about 7 in 
100, which means that it is an event 
that can be expected to occur from 
time to time if enough reactor years of 
operation are accumulated. How- 
ever, the mathematical probability of 
mechanical failure of the auxiliary 
feedwater flow systems valves and 
pumps (failure 2) is on the order of 7 
in 10,000, which is two orders of 
magnitude higher than the first fail- 
ure. The probability of these two fail- 
ures happening in series is conserva- 
tively estimated to be the sum of these 
two probabilities, or less than 7 in 
1,000,000 — an astoundingly low num- 
ber, which essentially rules out me- 
chanical failure as a cause of the inci- 

In fact, what this means is that the 
probability of human blunders, or, 
more likely, human sabotage, is nearly 
1 million to 1 — the inverse of the low 
probability of mechanical failure. 

We have found out some very inter- 
esting facts that back up these prob- 
ability calculations. The Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission released in- 
formation April 4 in a commission 
hearing that stated the following. First 
of all, the NRC investigation indi- 
cated that both auxiliary feedwater 
valves had been shut off manually and 
were out of operation during and pre- 
ceding the time of the accident. This 
meant that there was no way that the 


make-up water flow system to the 
steam generators could have been put 
into operation. 

It is totally against NRC regulations 
to operate a reactor under such con- 
ditions; furthermore, it is impossible 
to believe that reactor operators on 
duty would ever violate such regula- 
tions, unless in a deliberate act of sabo- 
tage. The NRC went on to say that 
these valves had in fact been turned 
off for over two weeks prior to the ac- 
cident, which makes the violation 
even more incredible. How would 
three different shifts of operators al- 
low such a condition to continue? No 
one in his right mind would allow the 
plant to operate with no back-up 
cooling system available. 

The NRC also found out in their 
investigation that a maintenance crew 
was working on the main flow valve 
and pumps during the two-hour pe- 
riod preceding the accident. This is 
the likely scenario used to manually 
cause the first failure — and the second 
failure. The focus of any further in- 

vestigation obviously has to have 
sabotage of these two systems as its 
working hypothesis or it is no investi- 
gation at all, just a coverup. 

Now, getting back to the chain of 
events following these incidents of 
sabotage, we find that after the first 
one or two minutes into the accident 
the pressure relief valve on the pri- 
mary system pressurizer tank opened 
because the pressure had risen to a 
pre-set limit. Given the conditions 
that now existed at the plant, this 
would have been the back-up meth- 
od for cooling the reactor core and 
primary system temporarily until one 
of the secondary steam generator 
flow systems was put back into opera- 

What should have happened was 
for this valve to open and close peri- 
odically over the next minutes or 
hours as the pressure built back up to 
the release limit of 2,350 psi. Releas- 
ing this steam pressure and providing 
make-up water to the primary system 
through a make-up water pump 

would have been the way to keep the 
shutdown reactor core cool during 
this period. 

What actually happened at this 
point, was an incredible chain of 
events, again with an extremely low 
probability of mechanical failure. First 
of all, the pressure relief valve stuck 
open and would not close automat- 
ically (failure 3), therefore allowing 
the primary coolant system to con- 
tinue to blow down into a holding 
tank. There is a manually initiated 
back-up to this valve that is activated 
in the control room by the operator; 
but this manual back-up either was 
not activated for a long time period or 
failed to work, we don't know which. 
The continual blowing down of this 
steam started to reduce the primary 
system pressure, which eventually 
started to lower the water level in the 
reactor vessel and core. 

At a system pressure of 1,600 psi, the 
emergency core cooling system 
(ECCS) automatically detected this 
condition, as it was designed to do, 



Primary conta nment bu Iding 

Primary coolant system 


Secondary cooling system 


To cooling towers 

Emergency feed-water flow 
Valves (2) 


Feed-water flow pump 

Failure #2 Emergency 
pumps (3) 

Steam condenser/ Failure #1 

cooling tower flow system '-^{Sb— 
Main water 
flow valve 

Polishing system 
'V - 

Sump pump 

Odds Are 1 Million to 1 That it Was Sabotage 

The mathematical probability of the mechanical failure of the main flow valve and feedwater pump system, 
failure 1, is about 1 in 100. The mathematical probability of mechanical failure of the auxiliary feedwater flow 
systems valves and pumps, failure 2, is about 1 in 10,000. But the probability of these two failures happening in a 
series is — conservatively — less than 1 in 1,000,000. 


and the high pressure injection 
pumps came on and started pumping 
large quantities of water into the core 
to correct the situation. It did correct 
the situation and would have con- 
tinued to do so for a long time 
period — several hours — however, the 
operator turned it off. 

Also, sometime during the first 
hour after the accident, the opera- 
tor turned off the primary system 
coolant pumps because the pump 
head was getting low. The sequence 
of events after this is not well known, 
except that we know the operator 
turned the ECCS system as well as the 
primary coolant pumps on and off 
again at least one more time. During 
this manual manipulation of the pri- 
mary system flow, the top of the reac- 
tor core became uncovered two 
different times. At these points, signi- 
ficant fuel damage occurred and fis- 
sion product gases, xenon and kryp- 
ton, were released to the primary 
coolant system. 

At sometime during this first one to 
two hours, the operators got these 
flows under control and got one of 
the two steam generator coolant 
loops operating, with heat being 
dumped normally through the cool- 
ing towers. Also during this period, 
the operators were able to get the 
pressure relief valve on the pres- 
surizer closed so that it was no longer 
dumping primary coolant water and 
steam — which became radioactive af- 
ter the fuel failures— to the holding 
tank. This tank later overflowed and 
spilled onto the containment build- 
ing floor. 

What has to be emphasized is that 
even with all this happening, the 
effect would have been minimal if the 
event had stayed at this level. How- 
ever, sometime during the first hour, 
the sump pump at the bottom of the 
containment building came on — sup- 
posedly automatically, but we're not 
sure— and started pumping radioac- 
tive water from the floor of the con- 
tainment building out into radiation 
waste storage tanks in the auxiliary 
building. In actuality, this contain- 
ment building should have automati- 
cally been isolated when radiation 
was detected there, thus prohibiting 
the sump pump from coming on. 

Nevertheless, this is how some radio- 
activity got out of the containment 
building, and why some very small 
amounls of radioactivity had to be re- 
leased through the normal gas re- 
lease stack several times during the 
second day after the accident and in 
subsequent days. 

The Crisis 
Chain of 

President Carter issued an Execu- 
tive Order June 19, 1978 establishing 
the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency and an Executive Manage- 
ment Committee under the control of 
the National Security Council. That 
order set April 1, 1979 as the date 
FEMA was to become operational. 

The new FEMA was to centralize all 
"crisis management" functions 
around civil defense, nuclear disas- 
ter, transport strike disruptions, and 
similar national emergencies under 
the direct control of the National Se- 
curity Council, thus completely by- 
passing all institutions constitutional- 
ly designated to handle national 

The Executive Order creating FEMA 
was the result of Presidential Memo- 
randum 32 drafted in April 1978 by 
Samuel Huntington. PMR-32 out- 
lined a specific scenario for crisis 
management reorganization of the 
U.S. government — a scenario that was 
tested during the Three Mile Island 

About three years before he drafted 
that memorandum, Samuel Hunting- 
ton had authored a book called The 
Crisis of Democracy, a position paper 
for the Trilateral Commission. Hunt- 
ington drew the conclusion, in part, 
that democratic institutions were no 
longer feasible. The sort of govern- 
ment structure defined by the U.S. 
Constitution, he said, had too many 
checks and balances. During the pe- 
riod of crisis he projected for the 
1970s and 1980s— specifically includ- 

Although the levels of radiation 
through release of xenon and kryp- 
ton were very low and well within 
normal limits (see box p. 61), the press 
turned this into a "radioactive cloud" 
that gave rise to one of the biggest 
media hoaxes of the decade. 

— /on Gf'/bertson 

President Carter at Three Mile Is- 
land, accompanied by Governor Dick 

ing oil crises, energy shortages, and 
the necessity to impose extreme 
forms of as austerity — the country 
would need hegemonic, controlling 
government institutions, rather than 
the normal, constitutionally mandat- 
ed institutions, Huntington said. 
FEMA on the Scene 
Not only was FEMA set to go weeks 
before the nuclear incident at Three 
Mile Island, but, according to well-in- 
formed sources, the National Securi- 
ty Council "jumped the gun" and set 
FEMA into operation Tuesday, March 
27 — one day before the incident. Un- 
der the direction of the NSC and a 
White House Emergency Task Force, 



FEMA personnel coordinated the 
emergency evacuation panic scenar- 
io, while the National Security Coun- 
cil's Jack Watson and Nuclear Regu- 
latory Commission personnel man- 
aged the content and flow of news. 

This news from the top was key to 
the creation of a climate of panic- 
making people feel helpless and feel 
as though there were no rigorous 
scientific principles to adequately 
evaluate the crisis situation. 

Executive Intelligence Review cor- 
respondent Stuart Pettingell de- 
scribed the on-the-scene situation in 
Harrisburg this way at the FEF special 
briefing April 6: "We expected to 
come down into the Harrisburg area 
and find a ghost town, deserted 
streets. What we found in Middle- 
town was business as usual, with re- 
porters wandering around trying to 
find some news. 

"There was no competent briefing 
to the press after Metropolitan Edi- 
son [part owner of the plant] was offi- 
cially gagged by the White House, on 
the request of Governor Thorn- 
burgh. There were no written techni- 
cal statements out and no technical 
advisors were allowed to get near the 
reporters to explain what was going 
on, So, the reports coming out of 
Middletown — H-Blasts, gigantic bub- 
bles, and so forth — were based on 
small shreds of evidence given to the 
reporters in small doses that these re- 
porters then had to elaborate into 
500-word and 1,000-word articles. 

"Until April 1, there was not one 
technical advisor on the scene who 
was capable of explaining how a nu- 
clear power plant works to the press, 
which was generally not clear on this. 
In terms of where the initial incident 
occurred, for example, everybody as- 
sumed it was in the core of the reac- 
tor. No one understood how the en- 
tire system worked. When the tech- 
nical advisors finally came in they had 
to spend virtually the whole night an- 
swering reporters' questions to try to 
clear up the complete unreality about 
what people thought had gone on. 

"To a certain extent, the press is to 
blame for the sensational coverage for 
something that was not sensational, 
but the honest reporters did not have 
a chance to find out the true story." 

Facts and 

Day 1, March 28 

The reactor core was brought into 
stable condition within the first two to 
three hours, the relief valve was 
closed, and a main coolant loop and 
main secondary steam generator 
coolant loop were put into opera- 
tion. At this point, core cooling was 
reestablished and has remained in this 
condition since then. The top region 
of the reactor fuel had been damaged 
and fission gas was released to the 
primary coolant. Most of the fission 
gas remained safely within the con- 
tainment building — except for a small 
amount that was pumped to the aux- 
iliary building. Therefore, most 
radioactivity was safely contained in- 
side the containment building, where 
it should be. 

There was no danger of a core melt- 
down during these first minutes and 
hours of the incident, because all 
emergency core cooling systems 
worked as they were designed. Fur- 
thermore, no radioactivity was re- 
leased to the atmosphere during this 
first day of the incident, although 
radioactivity within the containment 
building was quite high, making 
building access impossible. 

The Press: Early New York radio re- 
ports (WINS, WCBS) called it "the 

worst accident in the history of com- 
mercial power." 

The NRC: At 10:30 AM, the NRC de- 
clared the site an emergency situa- 
tion and said the turbine had tripped 
out, cause unknown. There was no 
off-site radioactivity, but radioactivity 
was noted inside the containment 
building. At 5 PM, the NRC reported 
that they thought there was direct ra- 
diation from the containment build- 
ing and that the turbine shutdown 
was a result of reduction in flow of 

Day 2, March 29 

During the night of March 28, a 
small amount of fission gas was re- 
leased to the atmosphere from the 
auxiliary building through the gas 
storage system and out the plant 
waste £j.s stack, This gas release was 
necessary because the water that had 
hrvn spilled on the auxiliary building 
floor was releasing some fission gas to 
the building atmosphere that was 
vented to gas storage tanks. The 
build-up of this gas in the tanks even- 
tually got 30 large that some had to be 
vented in order to make room for 
more gas in the tank. The levels re- 
leased were very low and well within 
normal release limits. Maximum mea- 
sured release rates were 1 millirem 
per hour, determined by a helicop- 

The reactor remained stable and 
cool at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and 
pressure of 450 psi. 



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The Press: "Radiation Is Released in 

\( ( idem di Nuclear Plant in Pa." (New 
Vorfc Times); "Radioactive Gases Es- 
cape from Pa. Plant" (Ba/t/more Sun); 
"Radioactive Steam Clouds Escap- 
ing . . ." {New York Post). There were 
stories that radioactive iodine would 
show up in dairy cows within a week 
(the allegation showed up in the press 
April 7). 

The NRC: Official release states that 
"radiation levels in containment 
building remain high. Continuing re- 
lease of detectable levels to atmo- 
sphere." For the first time, the auxil- 
iary building was mentioned as the 
source of gas, not the containment 
building. They said there were 12 mil- 
lirems of radioactivity per hour at 2 
miles from the plant, .33 millirems 
over the Harrisburg area; these are 
said to be far below the EPA allow- 
ib e e\el of 1,000 millirems per hour. 

Day 3, March 30 

Metropolitan Edison technicians re- 
leased gas from the auxiliary building 
two more times for periods of 45 to 60 
minutes during this 24-hour period. 
Maximum levels of radioactivity 
reached 20 to 25 millirems near the 
site boundaries, with much lower lev- 
els at distances farther away from the 
plant. All releases were of short dura- 
tion and resulted in dose rates far be- 
low those considered to be hazard- 
ous to the public. Some very low lev- 
el waste water was released to the Sus- 
quehanna River, but was stopped in 

order to avoid causing any public 
concern. The radioactivity of this 
water was well within the limits al- 
lowed by NRC regulation. 

Gas bubbles were detected in the 
primary coolant system and were 
carefully monitored as they collected 
in the top of the reactor vessel. These 
bubbles are made up of noncon- 
densable fission gases as well as hy- 
drogen and normally are taken out 
through the free surface in the pres- 
surizer. This technique was used, but 
it seemed to be going slowly, mainly 
because a considerable quantity of 
gas had been formed during the core 
and fuel heat up portion of the inci- 
dent in the first two hours. No prob- 
lems were occurring and none was 

The reactor remained in a stable 
condition at 280 degrees Fahrenheit 
and about 1,000 psi. 

The Press: "Nuke Leak Goes Out of 
Control" {New York Post) leads with 
"An uncontrolled release of radia- 
tion spewed from the Three Mile 
Island plant today, triggering some 
panic in the streets here, where peo- 
ple alerted by Civil Defense whistles, 
ran for cover." It was reported that 
Governor Thornburgh said, "These 
emissions were unexpected and they 
could not stop it" and that he or- 
dered all schools within a 5-mile ra- 
dius to close. New York Times reports 
that the NRC said that detectable ra- 
diation levels had been spread over 
four counties. 

The NRC: (AM) "At this time the dan- 
ger is over for people off the 
site. . . . Our readings show radiation 
levels have dropped significant- 


Metropolitan Edison: Officials said 

that a core meltdown was impossible 
and that there are no China syn- 
dromes possible. 

Governor Thornburgh: A spokesman 
for the governor's office, Patricia Mc- 
Cormack, said that radiation mea- 
sured 1,200 millirems per hour. 
"These emission levels are more dan- 
gerous than those released Wednes- 

The NRC: (PM) The NRC's Harold 
Denton, director of reactor regula- 
tion, arrived at the site and an- 
nounced that he and his team would 
be working closely with utility per- 
sonnel as well as federal and state 
agencies and the governor. The gas 
bubble was reported for the first time. 
If pressure were decreased, the bub- 
ble might expand and might inter- 
rupt the primary coolant flow. "In the 
unlikely event that this may occur, 
further damage to the fuel rods could 
take place," the NRC said. 

Day 4, March 31 

The suspected gas bubble at the top 
of the reactor vessel was determined 
to be about 1,000 cubic feet in size 
and was thought to be growing very 
slowly. However, the gas level was far 
above the reactor core and above the 


outlet nozzles in the vessel. There was 
no chance that this bubble could ex- 
pand down into the core region, since 
the upward coolant flow velocity 
would simply sweep any gas out the 
outlet flow nozzles and break it up in- 
to small bubbles that would eventu- 
ally come out at the pressurizer sur- 

In fact, this is what apparently hap- 
pened to the gas this day and into the 
next, although this is not completely 
known. There was no chance of a core 
meltdown. All emergency core cool- 
ing systems were still operable if 

The threat of a hydrogen explosion 
never existed within the reactor ves- 
sel, because there was no mechanism 
in existence that could provide 
enough oxygen into the bubble to 
produce the conditions for an explo- 
sion. Even if such an explosion could 
occur (which it could not), there was 
only enough hydrogen present to 
produce an impact on the vessel wall 
equivalent to a medium-sized blow of 
a hand-swung sledgehammer. 

An additional release of fission gas 
was necessary from the auxiliary 
building via the waste gas stack. This 
was much lower than releases from 
the previous day; it was at a level of 

about 1.5 millirems per hour, again far 
below harmful levels and of no dan- 
ger to the public. All gas releases were 
planned and timed to be very low; 
however, the original source of pri- 
mary water release to the auxiliary 
building was, of course, unplanned. 

The Press: "Nuclear Crisis: Pregnant 
Women, Kids Flee N-Zone, Thous- 
ands Told to Stay in Their Homes, Fear 
Meltdown of Nuclear Core" (New 
York Daily News); "Race With Nu- 
clear Disaster, Baffled Scientists Strug- 
gle to Ward Off A-Plant Meltdown" 
[New York Post). Most of the news is 
about the bubble and the possibilty of 
a China Syndrome meltdown. 

The Press on the NRC: "Depending 
on which options are taken and what 
changes are made, we can get the nu- 
clear core into trouble" (New York 
Post quoting NRC spokesman Dud- 

Day 5, April 1 

The gas bubble had all but disap- 
peared by now, although it was not 
known exactly how this happened so 
quickly. First of all, the bubble's size 
was probably not as large as original- 
ly estimated. Furthermore, its remov- 
al by the primary coolant flow system 

The Meltdown Myth 

Headlines: "Gas Bubble Forms, Core Meltdown Likely." 
Facts: A hydrogen gas bubble formed at a size much smaller than 
originally reported. NRC spokesman at hearings the next week admitted 
that the existence of any hydrogen bubble was "speculation." A core 
meltdown was not possible as a result of the size and type of the specu- 
lated bubble. Had such a bubble exploded, which was scientifically im- 
possible, it would have had the impact of a hand-held mallet swung at a 

Headlines: "China Syndrome Likely From Meltdown." 

Facts: The China Syndrome does not exist in scientific or technical reality. 

The reactor walls are built to withstand any meltdown. 

Headlines: "Meltdown to Release Radioactivity to Susquehanna River 
and the Atmosphere." 

Facts: Breach of containment is not possible, which means that the 
evacuation scenario was not necessary for safety reasons, as claimed by 
the governor and NRC. 

Headlines: "Bubble Will Cause H-Blast." 

Facts: The specific conditions for a hydrogen explosion did not exist. 

through the pressurizer was actually 
much quicker and more efficient than 
originally estimated. There was no 
threat of a hydrogen explosion, nor 
was there ever such a threat accord- 
ing to more detailed calculations and 

Releases of radioactivity were now 
very low and were measured to be not 
much higher than background radia- 
tion. Total dosages that could pos- 
sibly have been received by any one 
individual off-site since the begin- 
ning of the incident could have been 
only 85 millirems, or not much more 
than a person receives in a normal 
chest X ray! 

The reactor remained stable and 
cooling at 280 degrees Fahrenheit and 
a pressure of 1,000 psi. Radiation in 
the reactor building remained quite 
high, which is expected given the fail- 
ures that occurred during the first two 
hours of the incident. 

The Press: "Officials Say Nuclear Plant 
Cooler But Still in Crisis," "Wider 
Evacuation Possible If Action Poses 
Threat" (New York Times); "Risk of 
Explosion at A-Plant Reported In- 
creasing," "Top Priority Is to Collapse 
Gas Bubble Safely" (Washington Post). 

The NRC: "When technicians decide 
to eliminate the bubble, it might be 
prudent to evacuate residents living 
10 to 20 miles from the site" (Joseph 
Hendrie). As for the meltdown pos- 
sibility: "I wouldn't give odds. I don't 
think they've changed much these last 
few days." 

Day 6, April 2 

All gas in the vessel and primary 
coolant system was now gone, and the 
system was now in a mode where it 
could begin to be brought down to 
the cold shutdown condition. The 
NRC decided to hold the reactor in 
this condition for a few days to reas- 
sess the situation and to determine 
the best way to bring it to cold shut- 

Radioactive fission gas releases to 
the atmosphere have all but stopped 
and the levels are very low or near 
normal background radiation. There 
is no danger to the public. 

The reactor continues to be held at 
280 degrees Fahrenheit and 1,000 psi, 


with one primary coolant hop and 
one steam generator secondary 
coolant loop in operation. 
The Press: "A-Reactor Core Is Cool- 
ing, Gas Bubble Is a Hazard" [Wash- 
ington Post); "Key Maneuver Set at N- 
Plant, Aimed at Reducing Bubble 
Peril, May Evacuate 600,000 If Move 
Fails" {New York Daily News); 
"Atomic Era Over, Nader Predicts," 
"Crisis Viewed As Setback to Energy 
Policy" {Baltimore Sun); "What Hath 
Man Wrought, Worshippers Ask" 
[Philadelphia Inquirer). 
The NRC: On the question of need 
for evacuation, "This area is sensitive 
with the state, I need to clear it with 
the governor and I am rushing to see 
the governor now. ! see some signs 
for optimism" (Harold Denton). "Hy- 
drogen content in the reactor build- 
ing has risen from 1.7 percent to 2.4 
percent. At about 4 percent, we reach 
the flammable level and at 8 percent 
the detonable level" (Harold Den- 

The Jane 



"The China Syndrome," Columbia 
Pictures, March 1979 

Jane Fonda's new movie, "The Chi- 
na Syndrome," has been widely 
viewed and reviewed as an environ- 
mentalist thriller trumpeting the dan- 
gers of nuclear power. It is more ac- 
curately seen as a psychological war- 
fare exercise carried out to prepare 
Americans to accept the necessity of 
fascism in the United States. 

"Objective" refutations by nuclear 
scientists and others of the doomsday 
scenario envisioned by the film- 
makers — a nuclear accident in which 
"an area the size of the state .of Penn- 
sylvania is covered with a radioactive 
cloud," as one character put it— are 
almost beside the point. The most im- 
portant "Big Lie" in the movie is not 
about nuclear power per se, but 
about the nature of the human spe- 

The film makes three interlinked as- 
sumptions about the way the world 


First assumption: The primary hu- 
man emotion, the driving force of hu- 
man behavior, is equivalent to thai 
felt by a dog contemplating the pros- 
pect of his dinner. 

Sad-faced Lemmon: Glorifying the 
victim syndrome. 

All the film's major characters obey 
this simple psychological dynamic. 
The movie's villains — the power com- 
pany executive who cuts corners on 
reactor safety in order to spare the ex- 
pense of shutting down, the con- 
struction company supervisor who 
fakes records of reactor construction 
for the sake of cutting costs and de- 
livery time, or the television produc- 
er who attempts a coverup of the ini- 
tial nuclear accident because his only 
concern is program ratings and pub- 
lic esteem— these Big People are 
clearly ruled by simple greed, which 
the movie identifies in straightfor- 
ward fashion with large-scale eco- 
nomic profit. 

Less obvious is the point that the 
good guys — Jane Fonda as the doll- 
like TV glamor puss begging for her 
chance to do "hard news" coverage. 
Jack Lemmon as the sad-faced re- 
actor supervisor "in love" with his 
machine, and Michael Douglas as the 
cynical cameraman at war with "The 
System"— are also the creatures of 
their appetites. These are the Little 
People, "ordinary human beings with 
plenty of vices just like you and me." 
The Victim Syndrome 

The film takes great pains to prove 
the point when Douglas films the 
plant control room in violation of reg- 
ulations and jeopardizes Ms. Fonda's 

career; or when Ms. Fonda acqui- 
esces in the coverup of the near dis- 
aster at the plant in order to keep her 
job; or when Lemmon initially re- 
fuses to acknowledge to the out- 
siders that anything important has 
gone wrong. 

Second assumption: The virtue of 
the Little People resides in their per- 
petual status as Victims of the Big Peo- 
ple, and that the highest goal to which 
they can aspire is to recognize that 
role, accompanying the recognition 
with loud cries of "Rape!" 

It is no accident that the film ends 
not with the massive "meltdown" of 
the reactor core that is the threat on 
which the whole melodrama of "The 
China Syndrome" turns, but with a 
public statement on television by "the 
littlest person of them all," a 25-year 
power company employee and friend 
of Lemmon whose dominant trait 
ihroughout the film is the conspicu- 
ous desire to "stay out of trouble." 
Shocked by the assassination of Lem- 
mon as he tries to tell the truth about 
the plant's unsafe condition to Ms. 
Fonda's TV camera, the old fellow is fi- 
nally moved to take the microphone 
and demand "an investigation." 

Third assumption: Science and 
technology are no more than super- 
erogatory aspects of a human nature 
thus defined; the power associated 
with them is thus a magnification of 
the irrational; and, ultimately, any- 
thing can happen and nothing makes 
any real sense. 

With the subtlety of a steam drill, 
the movie hammers home the point 
that all the malfunctions of the fic- 
tional Ventana nuclear power plant 
are ultimately traceable to "human 
error." Therefore, natural law does 
not exist. 

The drama of the Little People ver- 
sus 'he Big People, who control the 
reactor and the workings of the so- 
ciety that sanctions its presence, is ex- 
perienced by the audience as a con- 
stant succession of vignettes in which 
the individual, utterly aione, faces a 
hostile, arbitrary world with dim pros- 
pects for survival. 

Again and again in scenes at the tel- 
evision station and the power plant, 
we are presented with visuals in which 
the "technology" on view is used as a 
metaphor for organized, systematic 

lying. Ms. Fonda's primping into her 
TV persona whenever a camera ap- 
pears is one obvious example. Insis- 
tence that technical terminology as- 
sociated with the reactor is ipso facto 
an attempt to dehumanize language 
and cover up the consequences of re- 
actor failure is another. And much is 
made of the fact that, when the re- 
actor heats beyond normal tempera- 
tures, the computer printout de- 
scribes this as an "event," not an ac- 

By the time Lemmon takes over the 
control room of the plant at gun- 
point and threatens to blow up a 
chunk of southern California in or- 
der to explain why the plant must be 
shut down — a favorite scenario for 

theorists of nuclear terrorism — he 
seems positively logical! 

Thus, the movie operates much as 
newspersons so in evidence during 
the events at the "living theater" re- 
play of "The China Syndrome" at the 
Three Mile Island nuclear plant out- 
side Harrisburg, Pa. There, if nuclear 
experts succeed in answering a suc- 
cession of hypothetical questions, 
they are greeted with the unanswer- 
able inquiry, "Why should I believe 
anything you say?" 

Predictable Jane 

Those who have followed Jane 
Fonda's career in and out of films for 
the past years have seen all this be- 
fore, minus the reactor, of course. In 
the 1960s, there was her marriage to 

Some Honest Press 

The Atlanta Constitution April 8 exposed the psychological warfare 
press campaign in an article titled "Faked News Hurts Credit of Media at 
N-Plant Site." Reporter Barry King then reviewed the following instances 
of press fabrication: 

(1) A camera team from a major national television network asked peo- 
ple from Middletown to stay out of camera range as they filmed the 
streets. Later these same people watched coverage in which the press de- 
scribed the shot as that of an "abandoned city." 

(2) At a firehouse where a radiation monitoring team was stationed, a 
robin hit a plate glass window and fell to the ground. A camera team film- 
ed the incident and reported on the news that night that "birds are fall- 
ing from the sky." 

(3) A camera team was seen putting "for sale" signs on houses and then 
filming the result, describing the incident as people packing up and mov- 
ing out. 

In Europe 

The West German financial paper Handelsblatt in an editorial April 3 
countered the Harrisburg scene: "There can be no taboo on nuclear 
power .... One could dictate zero growth but that policy could not re- 
main limited to GNP, but would also have to be applied to the reproduc- 
tion of mankind .... Do you want the gigantic bureaucracy solely re- 
sponsible for steering every form of growth, strictly and in police-state 
style? Such a bureaucracy, which would self-evidently have to be a 
supranational one, could not be established without war." 

In Mexico 

The Mexico daily Diario de Mexico April 1: "We can understand the 
uneasiness, but we cannot justify the hysteria that appears to have taken 
over reasonably sensible minds. Whenever man takes on new forces, the 
unexpected always arises. If the first person to have used fire, upon being 
burned had prohibited its further use, this decision would undoubtedly 
have paralyzed progress." 

The Mexico daily Uno Mas Uno: "The question is not one of imagin- 
ing an atomic end of the world, but in constructing a world where sci- 
ence becomes a tool for freedom from poverty, want, and inequality." 

"bad boy" director Roger Vadim, who 
made such "artistic" psychedelic por- 
nography as "Barbarella," in which 
Ms. Fonda glorified the irrational as 
plasticized science fiction sex object. 
Later came her marriage to "New 
Left" activist Tom Hayden, who cele- 
brated the Newark race riots with a 
front-page article in the New York Re- 
view of Books hailing the looting of li- 
quor stores as a blow for economic 

Ms. Fonda subsequently appeared 
as a prostitute discovering her "feel- 
ings" through psychotherapy and 
"human sex" in the movie "Klute." 
More recently, Ms. Fonda played Flor- 
ence Nightingale to a Vietnam War 
veteran's paraplegic blob of anguish 


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Predictable lane: Glorifying the irrational. 

in "Coming Home." Finally, we have 
Ms. Fonda and Hayden putting aside 
iheir Maoist Little Red Books to stump 
for the candidacy of "Mr. Austerity," 
Zen Buddhist presidential aspirant, 
California Governor Jerry Brown. 

Why Nuclear Energy? 

Nuclear power is not an end in it- 
self, but a mediation of human rea- 
son. If we are to raise global living 
standards to the level necessary to 
prevent inevitable outbreak of mass 

plagues and general war and depop- 
ulation, we must build hundreds of 
new nuclear plants. Without the ma- 
terial progress afforded by nuclear 
energy, billions of currently living 
persons will not reach the potential 
for human development now pres- 
ent among the American people. 

Ms. Fonda and her financial backers 
—the same people who brought you 
Meyer Lansky and the drug culture, 
Energy Secretary James Schlesinger 
and his era of permanent scarcity, and 
Henry Kissinger and his lust to fight 
World War III— do not believe in rea- 

The not-so-hidden message of "The 
China Syndrome" is this; America 
needs a General Haig, a man on 
horseback, to keep all the crazy Big 
People and Little People in line. As the 
New York Trrrtes put it, editorializing 
on the recent fupiter space probe: 
"Science is useful, but myth is the 
stuff of life." 

— Donald Baier 


Executive Intelligence Review 

"A rapid push to fulfill the spectacular 
promise of fusion will mean clean, cheap 
energy for the entire world and give the 
United States a global leadership role in 
solving the energy crisis. " 

Executive Intelligence Review, August 22, 1978 

The EIR is the weekly journal of political and economic intelligence which 
makes no pretense at editorial neutrality. The strength of this nation was 
built on full utilization of existing and potential energy resources. 

We provide the most comprehensive coverage and analysis of inter- 
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pany had been "ordered" to say 
nothing relating to the plant. 

Other engineers across the country 
who have direct contact with col- 
leagues connected with Three Mile 
Island are widely discussing the fact 
that sabotage must have been in- 
volved at Harrisburg — but in private. 
For the record, most officials at nu- 
clear firms and utilities refer you to 
the Atomic Industrial Forum or the 
American Nuclear Society for infor- 
mation and opinions on Harrisburg. 

As a result, Gilbertson said, the is- 
sue has been turned into an endless 
stream of charges and countercharges 
on this or that safety modification. At 
the same time, every one of the nine 
Babcock & Wilcox reactors is shut 
down by Nuclear Regulatory Com- 
mission order, bringing the national 
electric grid perilously close to 
brownout conditions. 

Gilbertson also noted the extraor- 
dinary lack of national publicity for 
revelations that indicate the gross dis- 
tortions in the media of what actually 
occurred during the Harrisburg inci- 
dent. The Advisory Committee on 
reactor Safeguards of the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, for example, 
submitted a report— not adopted— to 
the NRC that attacked the "misinfor- 
mation that was the basis for disturb- 
ing speculation on possible hydro- 
gen-oxygen explosions in the reactor 
pressure vessel a few days into the 

The Advisory Committee rebuked 
the NRC for stating that an explosion 
was even possible. Paul Shewmon, a 
member of the committee, called it 
"dangerous nonsense to say the thing 
could explode"; it only served to 
"scare people." 

In testimony before the Senate sub- 
committee on nuclear regulation 
April 10, NRC chairman Joseph Hen- 
drie stated that "the possibility of a 
flammable mixture turns out to have 
been a misplaced concern." When 
Senator Domenici told Hendrie it was 
"very serious" that the NRC was 
"communicating the possibility of the 
worst when merely an analysis, a 
proper analysis of the fact would have 
put that in a different perspective," 
Hendrie replied: "I'm not sure the 
NRC— I'm not sure who — was issuing 

the kind of drastic reports you indi- 
cated because it is now, in retrospect, 
a kind of jumble." 

Aside from the question of whether 
or not NRC official Harold Denton 
issued the original statement, it is 
clear that the subsequent refutation 
of the danger posed has been covered 
virtually nowhere in the press, Gil- 
bertson said. Why does the nuclear 
industry at this point fail to launch the 
most visible information and publicity 
campaign to lay the actual facts before 
the public? This is the real crime of 
Three Mile Island, 

— William Engdahl 

"Waah! The nuclear 
industry will never 
be the same." 

Transcripts Available 

Transcripts of the FEF's three- 
hour briefing April 6 on the 
Harrisburg incident are avail- 
able at $50 per copy, $20 for FEF 
members. The briefing was pre- 
sented by staff of the Fusion 
Energy Foundation and the Ex- 
ecutive Intelligence Review. 
Send check or money order to 
the FEF, 304 West 58th Street, 
New York, N.Y. 10001 or tele- 
phone (212) 265-3749. 

Highlights Of FEF 
Press Coverage 

The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa., 
April 25, "Pronuclear Group Says TMI 
Was Sabotaged": 

A pronuclear group charged yes- 
terday that sabotage may have been 
behind the Three Mile Island melt- 
down threat and that the federal gov- 
ernment used the incident to "dis- 
credit nuclear power." 

... A spokesman for the newly 
formed White House Commission in- 
vestigating the incident called the 
charges "really screwy," but said the 
body, holding its first meeting today, 
would be "looking at every line of 

The Patriot, Harrisburg, Pa. April 25, 


"Pronuclear Unit Suspects Sabotage 
in TMI Incident" by John Helyar: 

Attention on Three Mile Island thus 
far has been focused on the sequence 
of mechanical failures involved in the 
accident, Gilbertson contended, 
when what should be examined is the 
"accelerated, coordinated antinuclear 
attack taken by the environmentalist 
movement." He cited "weirdo" fac- 
tions advocating terrorism in the 
name of environmentalism, which 
may have had plans to "infiltrate" 
nuclear plants in order to be in a 
position to do damage. 

His only specific examples were the 
Neoamerican Church, which pre- 
dicted the accident in Middletown, 
and Ira Einhorn, an environmental 
activist recently charged with murder 
in Philadelphia. 

The Trentonian, Trenton, N.J., April 
25, "3-Mile Sabotage Suggested": 

... A spokesman for Critical Mass, 
a Ralph Nader agency which has re- 
peatedly raised nuclear safety ques- 
tions, said, "Anyone who believes that 
citizens, the investment community, 
and the Carter administration is eager 
to see the East Coast traumatized 
doesn't have any credibility." 

The Times Record, Troy, N.Y., April 
13, "Sabotage Possible in Nuclear 
Mishap," by D. R. Bahlman: 

The accident at the Three Mile Is- 
land nuclear power generating plant 
in Middletown, Pa., was, in one of Jon 
Gilbertson's words, "fishy." 

Gilbertson, a nuclear engineer with 
more than 15 years experience de- 
signing safety systems for nuclear 
plants, told an audience at the Rens- 
selaer Polytechnic Institute Commu- 
nications Center Thursday that the 
incident was blown out of all propor- 
tion by news-hungry members of the 
press, and he speculated that the 
blame for the incident will continue 
to fall on the operators of the plant. 

It's unlikely that this thing hap- 
pened by itself, or through human 
stupidity. These are highly trained 
people. They're not stupid. It's going 
to be very easy to say it happened 
because they didn't know what they 
were doing. 

The Nuclear Industry 
Plays Ostrich 

Here are some of the quotes from 
the nuclear industry indicating the 
public ostrich syndrome, the private 
dismay at the situation, and the incre- 
dible blindness concerning the role 
of Energy Secretary Schlesinger. The 
next issue of Fusion will report on the 
U.S. nuclear industry's speeches at the 
European Nuclear Conference. 

A spokesman for the Edison Electric 
Institute, the lobbying arm of the na- 
tion's electric utilities, just after the 
Harrisburg incident: 

"Our response so far has been to 
lay low and say nothing, hoping the 
whole thing blows over. ... Personally 
I hope that changes quickly." 

The official spokesman for the Atomic 
Industrial Forum, May 7: 

"We see the future of nuclear 
power as a pretty tough battle for the 
next year or so — until we can study or 
learn from what happened, especially 
at Three Mile Island. 

"The future of nuclear power is tied 
to Three Mile Island. Time is needed 
for corrective measures. The public 
has to sort out the comparative risks 
between nuclear power and other 
methods of producing energy. 

"The Atomic Industrial Forum will 
be active in informing the public 
about Three Mile Island and other 

Energy Secretary James Schlesinger at 
the Edison Electric Institute annual 
conference in Atlanta, April 11: 

"I'm in favor of nuclear energy, but 
we must separate the weak from the 
strong utilities and discourage the 
weak ones from going into nuclear. 
... [The fast breeder] won't be built 
nor will nuclear reprocessing be de- 
veloped. These are not cost-effective 
until the price of uranium rises con- 

A senior official from a Southwest 
utility immediately after Schlesinger's 

"This is a major shift. Now we've 
got Schlesinger on our side. This 
administration has finally come 
around on the nuclear issue." 

A top Westinghouse official (with 
great dismay): 

"The reactors now on order will be 
completed, then that's it. It's the end 
of the nuclear industry in the United 

Despite the "lie low" defensive at- 
titude of the nuclear industry and the 
utilities, both the majority of the pub- 
lic and key political figures have not 
capitulated to the Harrisburg hoax. 

Governor William P. Clements of 
Texas told an ABC television special 
report May 1: 

"The event at Three Mile Island 
hasn't done anything to my thinking 
on nuclear energy. It was an unfor- 
tunate event that was overblown. I 
question whether the risk was ever as 
great as it was depicted in the media. 
It was a sensation. I question whether 
people will be affected by the radia- 
tion in the future. My advisors, who 
are good scientific people, have ana- 
lyzed the information." 

Governor Edwin Edwards of Louisiana 
in a statement to Fusion May 3: 

"I'm a strong proponent of nuclear 
power for this reason. I'm convinced 
that nuclear power can be produced 
cheaply and safely. ... I'm open to 
more nuclear power plants. Nothing 
that has happened in Pennsylvania 
has changed my mind. Nuclear en- 
ergy is still needed; it's still a good 
thing; and everyone should feel con- 
fidence in it. Safety factors are built 
in, and there are continuing technical 


Special Report 


The Harrisburg Hoax 

1. Independent Commission Formed to Investigate Sabotage 

2. Highlights of FEF Press Coverage 

3. The Nuclear Industry Plays Ostrich 

4. The Union of Concerned Scientists: Making 
Nuclear War Instead of Nuclear Energy 

To Probe 

The formation of an independent 
Commission of Inquiry to investigate 
the evidence of sabotage at the Three 
Mile Island nuclear plant was an- 
nounced at a Washington, D.C. press 
conference April 24. 

The work of the new commission 
was presented to the press by Jon 
Gilbertson, director of nuclear engi- 
neering for the Fusion Energy Foun- 
dation, the group that has spear- 
headed the investigation of sabotage. 

Gilbertson, who is recognized as 

one of the nation's top nuclear safety 
engineers, announced the initiating 
membership of the commission (see 
box) and outlined the five primary 
areas of investigation to be under- 
taken by the commission. 

The Key Questions 

"Given that the probability of the 
sequence of failures at Three Mile 
Island being purely mechanical is 
about 1 part in 1 billion," Gilbertson 
said, "and given that the most basic 
operating and safety procedures were 
systematically violated contrary to all 
training and regulations, the most im- 
portant question to be answered is: 
Was the shutdown the result of sab- 

"Given that the media and local 
officials were under top-down control 
of the National Security Council un- 

More Nuclear Sabotage 

The case of sabotage at the Virginia Electric and Power Company's 
Surry Unit Number 2 nuclear plant in Surry, Va., announced May 9, gives 
further credence to the FEF claim that sabotage was behind the incident 
at Three Mile Island. 

Suspecting sabotage, Vepco officials called in the FBI to investigate. It 
has been determined that an individual or group of people dumped 
caustic soda (commonly known as lye) on new fuel elements over a 
period of several days. These fuel elements were stored in a highly 
secure area that could have been entered only by an employee with top 
security clearance and identification. 

A Vepco official told Fusion, "off the record, you're probably right 
about the sabotage at Three Mile Island." 

der the just-instituted Federal Emer- 
gency Management Agency (FEMA)," 
said Gilbertson, "a second key ques- 
tion for probing is whether National 
Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski 
and Energy Secretary Schlesinger ex- 
pected such an incident 

The commission will also investigate 
the following: 

• Given President Carter's April 5 
announcement of support for Schles- 
inger's "energy" austerity program, 
which includes a ban on nuclear 
breeders, drastic oil consumption 
cuts, and brute-force energy price in- 
flation, was the plant failure and the 
implementation of the FEMA "crisis 
management," foreseen as a means 
of instituting unpopular energy aus- 
terity? Should Schlesinger and other 
top officials therefore be removed 
from office for gross malfeasance? 

• Given the distortion by the na- 
tional press and government officials 
of the alleged dangers of "melt- 
down," were these stories consciously 
meant to provoke the population into 
panic in order to permanently dis- 
credit nuclear energy development 
and prepare the U.S. for nuclear war 
confrontation through civil-defense- 
type conditioning? 

• Finally, given the role of key an- 
tinuclear organizations, especially the 
Union of Concerned Scientists, in 
promotion of policies of shutting 


down nuclear plants, and given crea- 
tion of "The China Syndrome" film 
and its public release only two weeks 
before the Three Mile Island incident, 
what is the relationship of the foun- 
dations and financial backers of these 
antinuclear groups to the economic 
policies of austerity advocated by 
Schlesinger et al.? 

Press Coverage 

Conference attendees included 
representatives from NBC-TV, U.S. 
News & World Report, States News 
Service, Energy User News, the Na- 
tional Underwriters Association, As- 
sociated Press, Mutual Broadcasting, 
the Los Angeles Times, the Bureau of 
National Affairs, and several local ra- 
dio stations. 

Reports of the press conference ap- 
peared in newspapers throughout 
Pennsylvania and New Jersey the next 
day, on television in Scranton and 
Pittsburgh, and on Mutual Black 
Broadcasting affiliates nationwide. 

Gilbertson also gave a press confer- 
ence for the commission in Harris- 
burg the next day that was covered 
widely by local press and radio and 

Prior to the Washington press con- 
ference, an interview by ABC radio 
with Dr. Morris Levitt, FEF executive 
director, was aired several times na- 
tionally, drawing strong interest in the 
formation of the group. 

Foul Play Affirmed 

"We are finding a distinct shift in 
the national response to our allega- 
tion of deliberate sabotage and the 
role of the National Security Council's 
FEMA and Schlesinger in this whole 
situation," Levitt said. "We are getting 
increasing affirmation of the over- 
whelming case for foul play at Three 
Mile Island. Even sources within the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission are 
willing to admit to us the strong pos- 
sibility that such occurred, especially 
around the shutdown of the two 
backup valves 48 hours prior to the 
incident, something which is a 'Class 
A' NRC safety violation." 

Levitt added that the commission 
will now draw on the advisory exper- 
tise of a broad layer of scientific, en- 
gineering, and counterintelligence 
and security expertise both inside and 
outside government to assist in the 
commission's investigation. 

In a press statement May 7, Gil- 
bertson noted that several other rep- 
resentatives of labor, industry, and 
the scientific community were seri- 
ously considering joining the com- 
mission in the near future, bringing 
the expected total number of com- 
mission members to 20. 

"First and foremost," Gilbertson 
said, "the commission must assume 
the responsibility of being the cutting 
edge of the fight for nuclear power 
in the United States. ... At this point 
in time, the majority of the pronuclear 
institutions have crawled into their 
foxholes and have decided to lie low 
for a while. The nuclear industry, the 
utilities, the American Nuclear Coun- 
cil, the Atomic Industrial Forum, and 
so on have all told us that this is their 
policy — they're running for cover (see 
box for quotes). 

"In our opinion this is tantamount 
to admitting defeat. Now is the time 
to stand up and fight. If we don't do 
it now, we're not likely to get another 

Stand Up and Fight 

Gilbertson said that in addition to 
acting as a magnet for information 
about the Three Mile Island incident, 
putting pressure on the Pennsylvania 
state legislature to hold hearings on 
the incident, and promoting speaking 
engagements, commission members 
would be raising money to support 
commission activities. 

It has also been proposed, Gilbert- 
son said, that the commission initiate 
a national advertising campaign to 
promote nuclear power and educate 
the public about the facts of energy 
and economic growth. Such a cam- 
paign would need a minimum of 
$25,000 to $50,000 to get off the 
ground, he said. 

The Ostrich Syndrome 

Gilbertson described in some detail 
the ostrichlike behavior of the nuclear 
industry and its consequences in 
terms of the national press coverage 
on the Three Mile Island event. 

There is currently a clamp on all 
vendors and nuclear firms who had 
any involvement with the construc- 
tion of the Three Mile Island plant, 
he said. One engineer from a vendor 
that manufactures components for 
the reactor stated pointblank that all 
engineers and employees in his com- 


Members of 

Prof. Charles Bonilla 

Former Chairman 

Chemical Engineering Dept. and 

Former Director, Nuclear Program 

Columbia University 

New York, N.Y. 

Emil Decembre 


Building and Construction Council 

Beaver County, Pa. 

Walter Forbes 

Vice President and Consultant 
ARAMSCO Corporation 
Teharofare, N.J. 

Jon Gilbertson 

Director of Nuclear Engineering 
Fusion Energy Foundation 
New York, N.Y. 

Frank Hewes 

Corporate Treasurer 
Adirondack Steel Casting Corp. 
Watervliet, N.Y. 

Henry Hill 


Central Labor Council 

Cumberland County, N.J. 

Dr. Morris Levitt 

Executive Director 
Fusion Energy Foundation 
New York, N.Y. 

Jim Rebman 


Field Sales Dept. 

ACME Corporation 

and formerly Nuclear Navy 

Fort Worth, Texas 

Ira Seybold 

Senior Engineer 

Dosimetry Systems 

Yankee Atomic Power Company 

Westborough, Mass. 


Concerned scientists? Daniel Ford (I.) and Henry Kendall. 

The Union of Concerned Scientists: 

Making Nuclear War 
Instead of Nuclear Energy 

Since the sabotage operation at the 
Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylva- 
nia, the "nuclear safety"-minded 
Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) 
has been thrust forward as the chief 
advocate against nuclear power in the 
United States. Far from being the cru- 
sading band of activists the media 
portrays, the UCS was created by top 
Anglo-American intelligence circles 
to carrv out their mad dream to con- 
trol the world by imposing deindus- 
trialization and depopulation in the 

This characterization is confirmed 
by three basic features of the UCS: 

First, the main tactical objective of 
the UCS was to dismantle the old 
Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and 
to set up an "independent" nuclear 
regulatory body riddled with anti- 
nuclear agents. That objective has 
been accomplished. 

Second, the top personnel of UCS 
interface at numerous points with a 
host of Anglo-American intelligence 
operations on both the "left" and the 

Third, the UCS is a subsumed ele- 
ment of "arms control" mafia cen- 
tered in Cambridge, Massachusetts 
whose strategic objective is to force 
the Soviet Union to accept a nuclear 
facedown and a new global Dark 

Where Did It Come From? 

The origins and mode of develop- 
ment of the Union of Concerned Sci- 
entists bear the ineradicable imprint 
of two of the worst scoundrels in 
postwar U.S. history: Noam Chomsky 
and Daniel Ellsberg. They and the UCS 
are tied to an operation that goes 
back to the anti-Vietnam-war ferment 
on the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology campus in the late 1960s. 

Groups such as SESPA — a "science for 
the people" group operating under 
the umbrella of the antiwar March 4 
Movement— raised the demand that 
MIT break its connections to labora- 
tories conducting military research 
under government contract. 

At the time, MIT had more govern- 
ment defense contracts than any 
other university in the country, com- 
prising a substantial fraction of its total 
budget. The two main facilities were 
the Instrumentation Laboratory and 
Lincoln Laboratory, the former con- 
cerned with missile guidance and the 
latter dating back to World War II 
radar and Manhattan Project re- 

There were two objectives in going 
after these laboratories: first, as a 
wedge into a vulnerable flank that 
would break MIT's industry-science 
tradition; and second, to set up even 
more secret "wonder weapon" re- 
search off campus, modeled after the 
British aristocracy's subterranean in- 
stallation at Aldermaston. The anti- 
military research movement also fer- 
tilized the soil out of which UCS grew 
from its founding at MIT in 1969. 
Chomsky Negotiates 
In the early 1970s the MIT brouhaha 
about military research peaked. Pro- 
fessor Noam Chomsky, who was in 
England at the time delivering the 
Russell Memorial Lectures, was called 
back to MIT to negotiate the conflict. 
(Chomsky, whose work on linguistics 
has been used in mind control exper- 
iments, has direct links to terrorist 
groups here and in Europe.) As a 
result of the negotiations, MIT re- 
tained Lincoln Lab but divested the 
Instrumentation Lab, by then re- 
named Draper Lab. 

The "divested" Draper facility is the 
group of labs that has conducted re- 
search since then on advanced elec- 
tronic "chips" for ultra-high-accuracy 
missile guidance. The guidance sys- 
tems developed out of this research 
have reinforced Energy Secretary 
James Schlesinger and National Se- 
curity Advisor Brzezinski's insane de- 
lusion of a U.S. nuclear first strike 
capability that could win a nuclear 
war with the Soviet Union. 

The MIT antimilitary movement, 
moreover, was controlled directly by 


Jim Morey, a former long-time Rand 
Corporation and Air Force Intelli- 
gence operative. Morey suddenly 
took up residence in the late 1960s at 
the Cambridge Institute, the Boston 
arm of the leading U.S. terrorist and 
social fascist think tank, the Institute 
for Policy Studies, which was founded 
in 1963 by a former staff member of 
the National Security Council. 

Morey's colleagues at the Cam- 
bridge Institute included Gar Alper- 
ovitz, a designer of Mussolini-style 
economic reforms and author of the 
book Atomic Diplomacy, a coverup 
of Churchill's order to President Tru- 
man to A-bomb Japan. Alperovitz was 
also a leading figure in the March 4 
Movement's teach-in on the MIT mil- 
itary research question, although he, 
like all other Institute for Policy Stud- 
ies operatives, plugged directly into 
the intelligence networks run by the 
National Security Council. 

Another important part of the Cam- 
bridge anarcho-fascist milieu in the 
early 1970s interfacing the Cambridge 
Institute and UCS operations was a 
"New Economics" project at Harvard. 
The present UCS Director, Daniel 
Ford, was a young graduate student 
in that program. According to the 
group's own bogus history of the pe- 
riod, Ford — who allegedly was not 
particularly antinuclear at the time — 
undertook a study of the environ- 
mental features of various energy 
sources, including nuclear power. 
Quite by accident, UCS says, Ford 
received, in response to requests sub- 
mitted under the Freedom of Infor- 
mation Act, several documents that 
indicated the inadequacy of safety 
procedures for U.S. nuclear plants. 
Watergating the AEC 

Thus began a Watergate operation 
against the AEC, similar to the Ellsberg 
Pentagon-to-antiwar affair. For some 
reason, Ford sought the help of MIT 
physics professor Henry Kendall to 
verify the Freedom of Information Act 
disclosures. Soon Kendall applied for 
and received more documents in- 
criminating the AEC and the nuclear 

Ford and Kendall then began meet- 
ing secretly with disaffected AEC em- 
ployees and collecting "anonymous" 
letters describing alleged safety vio- 

lations by the AEC and industry, as 
well as some classified documents. All 
these goodies helped catapult the 
Union of Concerned Scientists into 
national prominence. 

This episode raises a number of 
very interesting questions. What offi- 
cials of the AEC or other government 
agencies were involved in leaking se- 
cret documents to the UCS, and then 
protecting the UCS from prosecution 
as clear violators of the Atomic Energy 
Act's security provisions? Were the 
leaks of "safety violations" part of the 
profiling of various nuclear plants in 
preparation for last month's sabotage 
at Three Mile Island? 

The UCS's smear operation was suf- 
ficient to raise a stink in Congress 
where representatives such as Sen. 
Howard Baker began to call for sep- 
arating regulatory functions from the 
AEC, which at the time were under 
the Technology Division headed by 
Dr. Milton Shaw. With the stage thus 
set, numerous pronuclear figures fell 
into the trap of joining the call for a 
separate regulatory agency. This 
group, which included Washington 
state Governor Dixy Lee Ray, thought 
they might head off the looming at- 
tack on the nuclear industry. They 

also had their own grievances against 
the AEC and the congressional Joint 
Committee on Atomic Energy for not 
paying enough attention to more ad- 
vanced nuclear research and devel- 

However, this pronuclear group 
failed to adequately take into account 
two critical political aspects of the 
situation. One was the argument by 
the UCS that "special interest" indus- 
trial groups should not be permitted 
to influence government R&D policy 
under any condition. Second was that 
the head of the AEC at the time was 
none other than James R. Schlesinger. 
Schlesinger was playing a deception 
game fully consistent with his political 
philosophy of "lie, but don't get 
caught." To maintain his credibility in 
industrial and scientific circles, 
Schlesinger came out against the AEC 
reorganization, but at the same time 
he cut the basic nuclear research pro- 
gram and opened the door to endless 
environmentalist intervention by per- 
mitting a challenge to the licensing of 
the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Bal- 
timore, Maryland. 

As planned, the reorganization 
went through and Dixy Lee Ray be- 
came AEC chairman. Immediately, 

Mossad Implicated in 
Nuclear Sabotage 

Two nuclear reactors destined for Iraq were almost completely de- 
stroyed April 6 when five explosive charges went off at the atomic 
equipment plant of the Chantiers Navals et Industries de Mediterranee 
company in the Southern France town of La-Seyne-sur-Mer. 

French press and government officials unofficially implied that the 
Israeli secret service was responsible for the terrorist act. On the day of 
the blasts, a French government official queried by an Israeli news 
correspondent replied, "I think you would know more about this than 
I do," according to the April 7 Washington Post. 

The two nuclear research reactors, which were within days of being 
ready for shipment to Iraq, will have to be rebuilt, a task estimated to 
take up to 18 months. Israel has repeatedly claimed that Iraq would use 
the uranium that was to accompany the reactors to build its own atomic 

The explosives were set by a team of three highly skilled professionals, 
with expert knowledge not only of explosives, but of nuclear installations, 
according to French reports. The team accessed the construction plant 
at night and immediately neutralized the alarm system with a secret 


Ford and Kendall escalated the UCS 
operation and joined forces with 
"consumer advocate" Ralph Nader — 
a brand new devotee of the anti- 
nuclear cause— to go after Ray mer- 
cilessly on the safety question. In the 
subsequent course of events, Ray was 
forced out, and the AEC was com- 
pletely reorganized: first, into the En- 
ergy Research and Development 
Administration, and then into the 
present Schlesingerian Department of 
Energy, along with a completely sep- 
arate Nuclear Regulatory Commis- 
sion. Now, after Three Mile Island, 
the UCS has joined forces with the 
"submarines" on the NRC to demand 
the complete shutdown of the nu- 
clear industry. 

It was, in fact, present NRC Com- 
missioner Victor Gilinsky, a member 
of British intelligence's International 
Institute for Strategic Studies and a 
former colleague of Schlesinger at 
Rand specializing in nuclear nonpro- 
liferation, who was the architect of 
the NRC. 

Along the way to the present state 
of affairs, a critical incident occurred 
in the mid-1970s. Several nuclear en- 
gineers quit their jobs at General Elec- 
tric in California and denounced the 
nuclear industry and nuclear power. 
They were all members of a cultist 
"consciousness-raising" group called 
the Creative Initiatives Foundation, a 
group set up in California in the 1930s 
by a British national during the same 
period that British intelligence's hal- 
lucinogen pusher Aldous Huxley was 
setting up shop there. During the 
same period, NRC engineer Robert 
Pollard(see box, this page) 
underwent an observable change 
of personality and defected to 
the UCS. 

The GE engineers were put on dis- 
play in Atlanta by British intelligence's 
Dame Margaret Mead at a National 
Council of Churches meeting. This 
meeting passed an antiplutonium res- 
olution to kill further development of 
the more advanced breeder technol- 
ogy and nuclear power generally. 
One engineer from this group sub- 
sequently became the "technical" ad- 
visor to the makers of the recent 
"China Syndrome" film. 

Was this strange milieu the normal 

stomping grounds for UCS physicist, 
Prof. Henry Kendall? Hardly. 

Henry Kendall was a member of the 
elite "Jason" group of physical scien- 
tists who act as consultants on special 
weaponry and counterinsurgency to 
the Advanced Research Projects 
Agency of the Defense Department. 
During the late 1960s, supposedly 
antinuclear Kendall was reported in 
the New York Times to be a member 
of a four-man secret Jason military 
mission to Vietnam that was said to 
be surveying the battle field for tacti- 
cal nuclear weapon deployment. The 
group, led by Dr. Richard Garwin of 
IBM, claimed they were working only 
on the "electronic battlefield." 

/ went into engineering because I 
don't want to deal with people. My 
idea of a good time is to go to Sears 
and look at the tools. 

—Robert Pollard 

Union of Concerned Scientists, 

Former engineer for the 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission 

Garwin had conducted a similar 
military mission during the Korean 
war — even though he works closely 
with arms control circles in the Fed- 
eration of American Scientists. The 
Federation consists of a "moderate" 
faction including Nobel Laureate 
Hans Bethe and a group of devoutly 
anti-Soviet Amnesty International 
types, such as Federation director Jer- 
emy Stone, who are bent on curbing 
all scientific progress in new weapons 

In 1977, Kendall testified before the 
Senate Banking and Housing Com- 
mittee hearings on civil defense and 
nuclear war. 

He presented two reasons why the 
United States should not develop a 
civil defense program. First, civil de- 
fense exercises would be seen as pro- 
vocative by the Soviet Union — this is, 
incidentally, the flip side of the ar- 
gument used by Zbigniew Brzezinski 
on ABC-TV's recent series discussing 
U.S. military capabilities to warn 
against Soviet use of their existing civil 
defense facilities. Second and more 

important, according to Kendall, this 
country could not support all the sur- 
vivors of a nuclear war, so why save 
their lives temporarily through civil 

Exactly the same line has been 
pushed by Kendall's MIT physics col- 
league at MIT, Prof. Bernard Feld, in 
recent testimony before the same 
Senate committee. Feld is a psychoti- 
cally antitechnology proponent of de- 
centralization and solar energy who 
is currently the editor of the Bulletin 
of Atomic Scientists. The Bulletin 
functions as the mouthpiece for the 
1940s-1950s British intelligence "Ban 
the Bomb" networks of Bertrand Rus- 
sell, Niels Bohr, and Robert Hutchins; 
its current profile is environmentalist. 

Kendall's selection as UCS chief sci- 
entist — despite the fact that he has no 
previous background in nuclear en- 
ergy or social activism — his propitious 
receipt of useful Freedom of Infor- 
mation Act and secret documents, 
and his connections to both nuclear 
"wonder weapon" and antiprolifera- 
tion circles are not so strange. After 
all, who is now the top "radical" 
leader of the Mobilization for Sur- 
vival, the antinuclear umbrella orga- 
nization that prominently includes 
the UCS? "Antiwar," "antinuclear" 
activist Daniel Ellsberg, a "former" 
colleague of Henry Kissinger at Har- 
vard, "former" colleague of James 
Schlesinger at Rand, and a top Rand 
and National Security Council opera- 
tive in his own right. 

The Union of Concerned Scientists, 
in short, is nothing but a conduit and 
a front for the antinuclear and stra- 
tegic policies of Anglo-American in- 
telligence operatives Kissinger, 
Schlesinger, and Ellsberg. 

Who Pays for UCS? 

UCS's funding also betrays the or- 
ganization's pedigree. The UCS has a 
salaried staff of 10 occupying a 10- 
room office in Cambridge that is paid 
for by a $140,000 annual budget. It 
receives funding from the Rockefeller 
Brothers Fund and the Max and Anna 
Levinson Foundation. The Levinson 
Foundation, which gave UCS $25,000 
last year, is a cofounder of a variety 
of antinuclear operations along with 
the Stern Fund, which is in turn a 
major founder of the terrorist-con- 


nected Institute for Policy Studies. 
The Levinson Foundation recently 
commissioned a study for Sen. Ted 
Kennedy's Joint Economic Committee 
by Bob Williams of Princeton's Envi- 
ronmental Center. The study con- 
cluded that there is no connection 
between economic growth and en- 
ergy use. 

In yet another project, the "anti- 
nuclear" Levinson Foundation com- 
missioned a study of the Fusion En- 
ergy Foundation. This study was 
passed along to the supposedly pro- 
nuclear Slaner Foundation, which 
used the information to try to track 
possible FEF supporters and donors 
into an abortive imitation of the FEF 
during the past year. 

Simultaneous with this nasty little 
operation, slanders were circulated 
among individuals close to the FEF 
that the Fusion Energy Foundation is 
antisemitic, while the "conservative" 
Heritage Foundation and William 
Buckley's National Review fulminated 
over the FEF's tax-exempt status. 

The Slaner Foundation connects di- 
rectly, through its sponsor the Kayser- 
Roth Corporation and Kayser's board 
member Disque Dean of Lazard 
Freres investment bank, into the so- 
called Nuclear Club of Wall Street. 
The latter has functioned as a Mossad 
(Israeli Intelligence) operation to 
maintain Anglo-American financial 
control by a select group of Anglo- 
American financiers over nuclear fuel 
and technology and to guarantee Is- 
raeli nuclear capabilities. 

Bringing the UCS connections full 
circle, the numerous documented 
connections of the Nuclear Club of 
Wall Street to the Mossad include a 
direct interface with the producers of 
UCS's favorite film, "The China Syn- 
drome." The banking house for Col- 
umbia pictures that produced the film 
is Allen and Company. That firm has 
been identified publicly as working 
closely with Meyer Lansky, the U.S. 
gangster exiled to Israel. 

The UCS and its backers may do 
everything possible to halt the prolif- 
eration of nuclear energy, but they 
have no such concerns about the 
spread of drugs, the destabilizations 
of governments, or war. 

— Dr. Morris Levitt 

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The Harrisburg Hoax 

1. Commission Presents Evidence of Sabotage 

2. The Case for Sabotage: Human Error Ruled Out 

3. The Big Lie About Radiation 

4. Waste Disposal Dispute Threatens Cancer Research 

Evidence of 

The Independent Commission of 
Inquiry into Three Mile Island has 
held several meetings and press con- 
ferences in Pennsylvania to compile 
and publicize evidence on the prob- 
ability of sabotage at the Three Mile 
Island nuclear plant. The commission, 
which was initiated by the Fusion En- 
ergy Foundation in April, has 11 mem- 
bers, representing industry, labor 
unions, and nuclear science. 

To make sure that the question of 
sabotage is fully addressed in all the 
official governmental investigations of 
the TMI incident and to counteract 
the antinuclear propaganda, the com- 
mission has launched a fundraising 
campaign to put full-page advertise- 
ments in the Harrisburg Patriot, the 
Journal of Commerce, Nuclear News 
and other national press. The com- 
mission is administered by the FEF, 
and contributions earmarked for the 
commission ad campaign and made 
payable to the FEF are tax-exempt. 

The commission held its first official 
meeting at the State Capitol building 

in Harrisburg, May 24. In the private 
part of the meeting, FEF executive 
director Morris Levitt laid out the TMI 
situation in the light of the recently 
published Council on Foreign Rela- 
tions' Project 1980s scenario for the 
"controlled disintegration" of the 
U.S. economy. 

The commission members resolved 
to raise $5,000 to fund a complete 
report on TMI and $10,000 for the 
full-page advertisements mentioned 
above. They defined the ad campaign 
as "urgent" in light of the mounting 
propaganda to kill nuclear energy in 
the United States. 

After the commission meeting, 
members met with State Representa- 
tive Jim Wright, chairman of the 
Pennsylvania Legislature's Investi- 
gating Commission on TMI, the legal 
counsel and secretary for the state 
commission, and other state legisla- 
tors. The state commission offered 
time for the independent commission 
to testify at state hearings. 
Key Questions 

The independent commission rec- 
ommended three key lines of inves- 
tigation to the state commission: 

(1) What will be the effect on the 
U.S. economy of shutting down nu- 
clear power? 

(2) The admitted sabotage at the 
Virginia Electric Company's Surry II 
nuclear plant makes it completely ir- 
responsible not to seriously and ade- 

quately investigate the likelihood of 
sabotage at TMI. 

(3) Is the federal government's pol- 
icy on nuclear power, as well as the 
national antinuclear press coverage, 
a result of the influence of zero- 
growth philosophy? 

The commission members also held 
meetings with the American Legion, 
the State Chamber of Commerce, 
farm and labor groups, the State De- 
partment of Agriculture, and the co- 
ordinator of the governor's commis- 
sion to investigate TMI. 

The commission has defined two 
essential goals. First, to provide the 
sharp cutting edge of a campaign for 
nuclear development to counter the 
rapidly increasing attacks on nuclear 
power. Second, the commission in- 
tends to force the sabotage issue to 
be considered by the public and the 
official commissions investigating 

Commission members feel that at 
this, point the nuclear industry has 
adopted an official policy of "sitting 
this one out," while the guttersnipe 
environmentalists and their more re- 
spectable collaborators in the govern- 
ment are tearing the industry apart, 
brick by brick. 

Readers who can arrange publicity 
for the commission campaign — radio 
and TV interviews, for example — 
should contact Jon Gilbertson at the 
FEF New York office. 


The Case for Sabotage: 
'Human Error' Ruled Out 

by Jon Gilbertson 

Although none of the official inves- 
tigations of TMI has publicly ad- 
dressed the sabotage question, some 
of the evidence presented in recent 
testimony has backed up the case for 
sabotage. In fact, testimony on the 
first two events of the sequence of 
failures of the TMI plant has con- 
firmed that mechanical failure was not 

Both events were instead caused by 
what the Nuclear Regulatory Com- 
mission calls "human failures" or 
"operator error." However, the NRC 
has provided absolutely no explana- 
tion of how this could be possible. To 
date, in fact, it has been impossible to 
get anyone in the know to discuss 
these two events or to give any kind 
of explanation of how human error 
could account for them. 

Before reviewing the recent testi- 
mony on the sequence of events lead- 
ing to the TMI incident, I'll summarize 
what I reported in the May issue of 
Fusion. At the time of the incident, 
the Fusion Energy Foundation raised 
the question of the extreme unlikeli- 
ness of the then-known sequence of 
failures at the plant. The probability 
that mechanical failure could have 
caused the first two failures in series — 
that is, the main feedwater flow loss 
followed by the loss of both auxiliary 
feedwater flow systems — was less than 
1 in 1 million. If you added to that the 
1 in 1,000 probability that the pressure 
relief valve would fail in the open 
position, the probability of the se- 
quence of failures became 1 in 1 bil- 

Either of these extremely low prob- 
ability sequences would lead any per- 
son knowledgeable in probability 
analysis to conclude — as the FEF did — 
that mechanical failure was not the 
cause of the incident; human inter- 
vention was. 

What follows is a point-by-point 
review of the technical facts of the 

case surrounding the complete loss of 
both feedwater flow systems, the 
main and the auxiliary systems, as they 
have been presented in public testi- 

Auxiliary Feedwater Flow System 

Both auxiliary (or emergency) feed- 
water flow systems had been manually 
put out of operation before the inci- 
dent by the closing of two separate 
valves. These two valves, one each in 
two completely separated auxiliary 
feedwater flow systems, are "pre- 
sumed" to have been shut off for 42 
hours preceding the incident. At that 
time, these two valves had been 
tested as required by NRC regula- 
tions, during which they were closed 
and reopened over a three-hour test 

Although the written test records 
show that these valves were re- 
opened — they were signed off as such 
by the operator — it is now "officially" 
assumed that the valves must have 
remained closed from that time on 
until the incident. That is, it is as- 
sumed that the operator actually for- 
got to reopen the valves, even though 
he signed and checked off that he 
did. Further, this means that the valves 
remained closed as at least five differ- 
ent shifts of skilled and experienced 
operators came on and off duty, never 
noticing or checking the red alarm 
lights, tags, open switches, and so 
forth that would alert them to such 
circumstances on two of the most 
important valves in the plant. 

Operation of a nuclear plant under 
such conditions is strictly prohibited 
by regulation and protected against 
by various electronic means as well as 
by rigorous sign-off and checking 
procedures, as all operating person- 
nel are aware. 

Accepting "human error" as re- 
sponsible for this is asking the public 
to believe that all the protective 
measures were bypassed or ignored 

Initial Members 
of Independent 

Prof. Charles Bonilla 

Former Chairman 
Chemical Engineering Dept. and 
Former Director, Nuclear Program 
Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 

Robert Dabler 

Dabler Steel 
Berkeley Heights, N.J. 

Emil Decembre 


Building and Construction Council 

Beaver County, Pa. 

George Diamond 

Diamond Aerosol Corporation 
Glen Gardner, N.J. 

Walter Forbes 

Vice President and Consultant 
ARAMSCO Corporation 
Thorofare, N.J. 

Jon Gilbertson 

Director of Nuclear Engineering 
Fusion Energy Foundation 
New York, N.Y. 

Frank Hewes 

Corporate Treasurer 
Adirondack Steel Casting Corp. 
Watervliet, N.Y. 

Henry Hill 

President, Central Labor Council 
Cumberland County, N.J. 

Dr. Morris Levitt 

Executive Director 
Fusion Energy Foundation 
New York, N.Y. 

Jim Rebman 

Manager, Field Sales Dept. 
ACME Corporation 
and formerly Nuclear Navy 
Fort Worth, Texas 

Ira Seybold 

Senior Engineer, Dosimetry Systems 
Yankee Atomic Power Company 
Westborough, Mass. 


V~]L-/ \ Ut altain Ueneia!Oi^^^_ 
12) fleaclot Coolant Pom)) ** 

This schematic of the TMI plant was part of the testimony of Herman Dieckamp, president of the General Public 
Utilities Corporation, at congressional hearings May 24. Fusion has circled the locations of the three failures mentioned 

in this text. 

and, furthermore, that the operators 
were totally incompetent. Such a sit- 
uation is not credible in any power 
plant, not to mention a nuclear plant. 

A more likely explanation is that 
these valves were closed intentionally 
sometime before the incident, per- 
haps within minutes or even hours, 
for the purpose of creating a poten- 
tially serious incident at TMI. All that 
would be necessary to produce such 
tin incident is to somehow cause the 
main feedwater flow system to trip 
out and shut itself down. 

Under normal circumstances, after 
a main feedwater flow loss, three sep- 
arate and independent auxiliary feed- 
'■•wiU'i pumps automatically would 
come on, pumping sufficient feed- 
water through any one of three 
pumps to cool the reactor in a shut- 
down condition. In the TMI incident, 
these three auxiliary pumps, in fact, 
did come on within two seconds after 
the main feedwater flow shutdown. 
However, the pumps could draw no 
water because their water source was 
shut off by the closure of the two 
feedwater valves for the two separate, 
independent flow lines. Therefore, at 
least until this condition was discov- 
ered and corrected by the plant op- 
erators, the reactor core had no 
means of transferring its heat outside 

the reactor building and it had to 
begin to heat up. 

Main Feedwater Flow System 

Circumstances surrounding the 
shutdown of the main feedwaier flow 
system and the resulting turbine trip 
are even more cloudy than the expla- 
nations given for the failure of the 
auxiliary flow systems. However, the 
one thing that now appears certain is 
that its shutdown was also manually 
induced. It was the loss of main feed- 
water flow that initiated the TMI in- 
cident and, with both auxiliary 
(backup) feedwater systems suspi- 
ciously out of service, led to the sub- 
sequent more serious events. 

The main feedwater flow loss was 
triggered approximately as follows. 
Maintenance was being performed 
on the condensate polishing (filter- 
ing) system during the one- to two- 
hour period preceding the incident, 
which consisted of cleaning several 
partially plugged filters. This cleaning 
process involved opening a valve on 
a pressurized air line on each filter, 
which forced air back through the 
filter (against the direction of water 
flow) thus blowing out some or all of 
the residue clogging it. 

Apparently, after at least one filter 
had been successfully cleaned this 
way, the maintenance crew went on 

to another filter to begin a similar 
process. However, it now appears that 
the maintenance person or persons 
failed or forgot to shut off the air 
valve on the first filter, as the proce- 
dure calls for, before moving on to 
the next. Since the compressed air 
lines on all these filters are mani- 
folded together, the opening of the 
second air valve while the first air 
valve was still open somehow (the 
exact explanation is not available yet] 
caused water to back up into the air 
line of the first filter arrangement. 

This manually initiated event 
caused a condensate pump to turn 
off, which, in turn, caused an auto- 
matic tripping-off of both main feed- 
water flow pumps. There was also an 
automatic turbine trip when the main 
pumps tripped out, since this condi- 
tion cuts off the heat load to the 
turbine, which must then shut down 
to protect itself. 

The loss of the main feedwater flow 
is not such an unusual event; it has a 
rather high probability of occurrence 
of about 1 in 100. However, when this 
has happened before on other rea< - 
tors, there have not been any serious 
consequences because the auxili.irv 
feedwater systems automatically came 
on to remove the heat from the shut- 
down reactor. 


The unusual circumstance about 
the TMI main feedwater flow loss is 
thai il was initiated manually, as was 
the subsequent loss of both auxiliary 
feedwater How systems. 

Given this combination of manually 
initiated events, which insiders now 
agree started the incident at Three 
Mile Island, it seems absolutely incre- 
dible that sabotage would not be the 
first of two possibilities that any in- 
vestigation would start with, the sec- 
ond, much less likely possibility being 
human error. 

Primary System 
Pressure Relief Valve 

The third major failure in the se- 
quence of events at Three Mile Island 
was the sticking open of the pressure 
relief valve on the primary system 
pressurizer tank. This does appear to 
be a mechanical failure, although 
even here some highly suspicious evi- 
dence is beginning to be uncovered 
that must be investigated thoroughly 
with respect to the first two failures. 
It has been reported and documented 
that this type of pressure relief valve 
has been known to stick in the open 
position before. In fact, the NRC 
stated that it now felt that this might 
happen as often as 1 or more times 
every 50 times the valve was activated. 

Anyone knowing how to manually 
set up and initiate the first two events 
would certainly know about the po- 
tential vulnerability of this pressure 
relief valve and perhaps even plan on 
its failure. Furthermore, with the re- 
actor in the condition of no heat 
being removed because all feedwater 
flow was shut off, this pressure relief 
valve would have had several chances 
to fail open. That is, the heat-up and 
pressure increase in the primary sys- 
tem would have continuously opened 
and closed this valve until the transfer 
of heat was finally restored to the 
steam generators. 

In the TMI incident, it took the 
operators more than eight minutes to 
realize that the auxiliary feedwater 
flow valves were closed, at which time 
they opened them. However, as is 
now known, the pressure relief valve, 
which opened within a few seconds 
after the incident was initiated by loss 
of all feedwater flow to the steam 
generators, failed to automatically 

close. In fact the valve remained open 
for two hours and fifteen minutes 
before the operators recognized the 
condition and closed a separate 
backup block valve. The extended 
opening of this relief valve and the 
resulting continual blowdown of pri- 
mary coolant water into the contain- 
ment building, combined with the 
operator's inability to clearly recog- 
nize and understand the actual situa- 
tion, led to the damage of the reactor 
core some time toward the end of 
this two-hour period. 

The events following the first two 
failures, and possibly the third failure, 
may not have been intentional al- 
though looking back at them today, 
it is clear that core damage could and 
should have been avoided. It is no 
doubt the case that given the difficult 
situation the operators found them- 
selves in during the first minutes and 
hours after the incident, they did 
everything they thought appropriate 
for the situation that they presumed 
they were in. 

However, there is every reason to 
believe that the initiating events of 
(he TMI incident were intentionally 
set up and triggered by one or more 
persons inside the plant. The aim of 
the person or persons involved in 
collaboration with people on the out- 
side would have been to create a 
serious incident at a reactor plant in 
order to discredit nuclear power in 
the eyes of the public with a scare 
campaign. To create such a situation 
required only the loss of all feedwater 
flow followed by (a) overheating of 
the reactor coolant water, (b) several 
openings of the pressure relief valve 
with primary coolant blowdown, and 
(c) activation of the emergency core 
make-up water system or possibly the 
emergency core cooling systems. 

Even if the TMI incident would have 
been terminated within the first 15 
minutes, the failure of these feedwa- 
ter flow systems followed by the ac- 
tivation of other emergency systems 
would have been unprecedented and 
would have been used to create neg- 
ative publicity for nuclear power. 

Ion Cilbertson, director of nuclear 
engineering for the FEF, is a well- 
known nuclear safety expert. 


© Damjer: Radiation ! 


Are we being contaminated" 


7:30<Kn «t lb. Both tl Ai*.. Lutlwran CtaMch 

■ M ■ « 

The Big 
Lie About 


Dr. Richard 


An invisible but deadly force is 
sweeping clown upon ui, bringing si- 
lent death wherever it goes. At least, 
that's what the current barrage of 
nuclear scare stories would have us 
believe. In the aftermath of the Three 
Mile Island sabotage Joseph Califano, 
the secretary of Health, Education, 
and Welfare, ominously declared that 
10 people would be dead, struck 
down by radioactive puffs of vapor. 
Dr. Spock gets up before crowds of 
confused parents and warns them to 
stop nuclear power if they love their 
children because radioactivity is just 
too dangerous. 

Newspaper stories, movies, books, 
speaker after speaker barrage an in- 
creasingly frightened public with the 
myth that nuclear power is the genie 
out of the bottle, a technology that 
will envelop and destroy us because 


Table 1 




Table 2 



Type of 



per person 

Natural radiation (per year) 

Cosmic radiation 








Building materials 


Manmade radiation 

One coast-to-coast flight 


Color television (per year) 


One chest X-ray 


Nuclear plant radiation 

Living within a 50 mile radius 

of a nuclear power plant 


Total from the "disaster" at 

Three Mile island 


■ Acknowledged to be an overestimate See box on oage i« 

we're just too weak and stupid to 
handle it. Nuclear accidents will de- 
stroy entire cities, radialion will kill 
and maim present and future gener- 
ations, and a legacy of poison will 
remain for our children. 

This atmosphere of hysteria, engi- 
neered with such skill and at such 
great expense, is intended to keep us 
from thinking, calml> and rationally. 
But what are the actual facts? 

A close look at the most quoted 
reports ostensibly damning nuclear 
enern\ shows thai the> do nothing ol 
the kind. Instead, they demonstrate 
that nuclear energy generation is the 
safest known power method, thai the 
levels of radiation involved with nu- 
clear power are so negligible that 
their effects at worst are not delecta- 
ble within the population, and that 
the hypothesis that low levels of ra- 
diation are harmful has never been 
accepted by the scientific community 
as a whole. 1 -'- 1 

So how did Calitano arrive at a 
figure of 10 dead from three Mile 
Island? Assuming for the moment that 
his honesty is not in question, let us 
examine the methodology used to 
generate this number. The argument 
goes as follows: Exposure to ex- 
tremely high doses of radiation over 
long periods of time will result in a 
significant increase in the incidence 
of cancer. Therefore, low levels of 
radiation over long periods of time 
will also result in a significantly in- 
creased incidence of cancer. In other 
words, since drinking a glass of fluor- 
ide will kill a child, fluoride should 
not be added to our drinking 
water. . . . 

It is this method of linvjr extrapo- 
lation that is patently incorrect; at 
best it stems from a lack of under- 
standing of biological processes, at 
worst it represents black propaganda. 
A fact of life is that overdoses of 
biologically necessary substances may 
be life-endangering. But it has never 
been demonstrated that the levels of 
radiation associated with nuclear 
power are harmful: 

"It is not known whether dose rates 
of . . . radiation around 100 millirads 
per year are detrimental to exposed 
people; somatic effects would be 
masked by environmental or other 


factors thai produce the same types 
of effects on the health of those ex- 
posed as does ionizing radiation. It is 
unlikely that carcinogenic and tera- 
togenic effects of low-LET radiation 
[radiation characteristic of X rays and 
gamma rays] administered at this dose 
rate will be demonstrated in the fore- 
seeable future." 1 


Radiation is a common, necessary 
parr oi our lives (see Table 1). Ultra- 
violet (UV) radiation is the radiation 
from the sun responsible for sun tans, 
vitamin D production — and skin can- 
cer. In the visible-light area ol the 
electromagnetic spectrum, solar ra- 
diation is responsible for photosyn- 
thesis, by which plants turn the sun's 
energy into a form of energy that 
supports all life processes on earth. 
Radiowaves give us television, radio, 
radar, navigation, and so on. Radia- 
tion in the short-wavelength part of 
the spectrum gives us nuclear power, 
industrial testing methods, and med- 
ical diagnostic-therapeutic tech- 
niques. Any radiation, if used care- 
lessly, can be harmful. 

The nuclear radiation (Table 2) in 
the shorter wavelengths produces 
ionizing reactions in biological and 
other material; that is, when the ra- 
diation collides with atoms it releases 
electrons and changes a stable atom 
into a reactive ion (with positive 
charge). Along a track of high-energy 
radiation a train of ions is formed that 
can initiate a chain of chemical reac- 
tions. This property is believed to be 
responsible for the transformation of 
a healthy cell into a malignant one. It 
should be remembered, however, 
that in healthy cell metabolism ionic 
interactions are constantly taking 

The Effects of Radiation 

It has been demonstrated that large 
doses of radiation over short time 
periods are harmful. Very large doses, 
over 500 rads, are lethal to 50 percent 
of the population exposed. Lesser 
doses, over 100 rads, will cause radia- 
tion poisoning — nausea, loss of hair, 
lethargy, fatigue — but full recovery is 
usual (even for the victims of Hiro- 
shima), ^n increase in cancer, how- 
ever, has been documented for per- 
sons receiving over 100 rads in short 

The natural radiation produced by the granite used »n the construction ol 
Grand Central Station would classify the building as a dangerous health 
hazard — according to environmentalist logic. 

time periods. In Great Britan, over 
15,000 patients received medical irra- 
diation that averaged about 400 rads; 
of these, an estimated 100 suffered 
cancer deaths in excess of what would 
be expected for such a population 
sample. That is, radiation doses 10,000 
times the doses involved in relation 
to nuclear power plants or medical X- 
rays caused a 0.7 percent incidence of 

The incremental increase of radia- 
tion from nuclear plants, when added 
to the natural radiation we receive 
every day, is so small as to be virtualK 
undetectable by any means. The in- 
crease is less than 1 millirem per per- 
son per year, which is less than 0.5 
percent of normal exposure from the 
sun, buildings, other people, and so 
on. And since biological lesearch in- 
dicates that low-level "insults" to the 
body from an\ source arc repaired, 
there is no relationship between high- 
intensity induced disease and low- 
level effects. 

The extrapolation of large-dose ef- 
fects to low-dose effects results from 
the state of ignorance that exists in 
the biomedical sciences today. Let us 
examine this method of linear extrap- 
olation in greater detail. The first step 
is the gathering of evidence that high 
levels of radiation, over 10 rads per 
dose, are carcinogenic. 

One study of workers who had in- 
gested large quantities of radium from 
licking their paintbrushes to get fine 
points while painting watch dials with 
this radioactive material showed that 
they developed bone canter more 
often than would be normal. These 
data led investigators to conclude that 
radium caused the bone cancer. 
Other human studies as well as animal 
studies demonstrated that substantial 
exposures to radiation led to an in- 
creased incidence of cancer. 

But at what level would the detri- 
mental effects not appear? Because it 
is so difficult to determine that an 
effect has occurred when the statisti- 


cal data are close to the natural levels, 
investigators who are not scientists 
have arbitrarily decided to draw a 
straight line from the point of high- 
dose, high-effect down to the point 
of no-dose, no-effect and then as- 
sume that this line represents the real- 
ity of dose-biological effect relation- 
ships (see Figure 1). 

Snowball Reasoning 

Another example of this linear rea- 
soning would be: since a person hit 
by 500 snowballs at once will die from 
this event, a linear extrapolation pre- 
dicts that a person hit with one snow- 
ball a day for five winters will also die. 
Similarly, throwing 500 snowballs at 
500 people in one day will kill 1 per- 
son, since for every 500 snowball- 
people-days 1 deatFi will result. Ab- 
surd, no? Yet this is the basic 
reasoning behind Califano's dire pre- 

A less absurd example is demon- 
strated in our daily lives: The chemical 
zinc is a vitally necessary ingredient in 
our diets, found in ali vitamin supple- 
ments. But you will die from this 
deadly chemical poison if you drink 
a cupful at once. 

You might say that although this 
linear-extrapolation method is a poor 
excuse for nutritional science, it still 
might be valid for carcinogenic 
events. But, as was detailed in Fusion, 4 

the claims that every industrial pro- 
cess exposes the population to an 
increased likelihood of cancer are 
outright lies, based on manipulations 
of data. The incidence of cancer in 
the United States for 1900-1978, the 
period of intense industrialization, 
has remained constant (once in- 
creased life-expectancy, absolute 
population size, and smoking-corre- 
lated lung cancer are properly incor- 
porated into the data). 

But, you might ask, what of specific 
inducers- of cancer? Couldn't radia- 
tion be this kind of case? A report 
released by the Consumer Product 
Safety Commission April 26 further 
attested to the known carcinogenity 
of viny! chloride, a common sub- 
stance used, for example, to coat 
photocopying paper. Experiments 
with rats and mice showed that large 
doses of vinyl chloride produce tu- 
mors in mice but not in rats. Consid- 
ering the close similarity between 
mice and rats, this should make re- 
searchers more hesitant in using work 
on mice to draw conclusions for hu- 
man biology. 

More significantly, the study dem- 
onstrated that a threshold phenome- 
non was present— a certain level of 
exposure to the vinyl chloride was 
necessary before any effects whatso- 
ever could be demonstrated. Al- 

What Radiation? 

An ad hoc committee made up of the Environmental Protection 
Agency, the Health, Educational, and Welfare Department, and the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission found that the average cumulative 
radiation dose to persons within a 50-mile radius of the Three Mile 
Island nuclear plant was 1.5 miilirem— less than 5 percent of that received 
from one normal chest X ray. 

According to the ad hoc committee's report, this amount is so 
insignificant that at most less than 1 case of cancer could be added to 
the 325,000 normally expected cancer deaths among the 2 million 
population of the area, and this calculation uses the worst-case estimates 
of these exposures. 

Additionally, the "report claims that its figures overestimate risk, 
however, because no reduction was made to account for shielding of 
people indoors . . . and the fact that the dose to internal body organs 
would be less than the dose to thermoluminescent dosimeters monitor- 
ing the area." 

(The committee's preliminary report appeared in Science News, June 

though a cumulative exposure to the 
chemical lowered this threshold level 
somewhat, small doses over a longer 
time period still showed the threshold 
effect. In other words, as this study 
proves, although there are substances 
that should be handled with care, it 
is fallacious to assume that the mere 
presence of the substance ipso facto 
means death for a predictable num- 
ber of people, Califano's environ- 
mentalist claim to the contrary. 
The Low-Level Question 

What about low-level radiation? 
Even the most ardently antinuclear 
scientists will admit that threshold lev- 
els may obtain here as well. To quote 
from two reports: 

"Estimates of the rate of induction 
of cancers and genetic effects caused 
by low radiation doses are seriously 
affected by the kind of extrapolation 
used. On this point the scientific evi- 
dence is not yet conclusive. Most stu- 
dents of this field believe that the rate 
of induction is either equal to or less 
than that estimated by linear extrap- 
olation." 2 

"The Committee's most difficult 
task has been to reach a consensus on 
how to estimate the carcinogenic risk 
of low-dose, low-LET radiation. It was 
recognized early that there is no truly 
adequate or generally acceptable sci- 
entific basis for such estimation. . . . 
The Committee recognizes that some 
experimental and human data, as well 
as theoretical considerations, suggest 
that, for exposure to low-LET radia- 
tion at low doses, most cancer risk 
estimates based on the linear hypoth- 
esis are too high and should not be 
regarded as more than upper limits of 
risk. ... In animal experiments, it has 
been shown, often with considerable 
statistical precision, that the dose- 
effect curve for radiogenic cancer can 
have a variety of shapes (sometimes 
including even a negative initial 
slope). As a ruie the dose-effect curve 
has a positive curvature for low doses 
of low-LET radiation, i.e., the slope of 
the curve increases with increasing 
dose. ... It seems probable that, for 
most types of radiogenic cancer, lin- 
ear extrapolation from incidence at 
high doses results in an overestimate 
of risk associated with doses of a few 
rads of low-LET radiation. Neverthe-* 


less, in most cases the linear hypoth- 
esis emerges by default as the simple 
model whose use appears to be least 
objectionable in the absence of clear 
evidence as to the shape of the dose- 
effect curve." 1 

So the straight-line curve used to 
predict that low doses of radiation 
will cause cancer is simply accepted 
by "default ... in the absence of clear 
evidence." What are some of the 
other hypothetical curves to extrap- 
olate known radiation results to un- 
known areas where no carcinogenic 
or other risks have ever been shown? 
Keep in mind that the known data 
represent radiation doses of over 10 
rads (usually over 100 rads) while for 
nuclear power we are talking about 
potential doses of from 10 to 100 mil- 
lirads (1 millirad = 0.001 rad; 1,000 
millirads = 1 rad). 

Figure 1 depicts various possible 
relationships between the number of 
mutagenic events and increasing ra- 
diation exposure. As indicated earlier, 
the linear response curve (b) postu- 
lating a direct proportionality be- 
tween radiation and cancer is the 
"default" curve. But the extrapolation 
from known 10-rad doses to unknown 
millirad doses takes one into a totally 
hypothetical area, removed from the 
known area by several orders of mag- 

The third curve shown (c), 
known as the "hockey-stick" curve, 
depicts the normal biological re- 
sponse to environmental insults, as 
demonstrated in innumerable exper- 
iments with other substances. Here 
we note that a substantial increase in 
radiation is required before any rise 
in mutagenic effects is noted. This 
reflects the fact that biological insults 
must go beyond a certain "threshold 
level" before the body exhausts its 
capacity to handle them efficiently. 
The snowball example discussed ear- 
lier fits this curve. Indeed, most bio- 
logical events reflect this threshold 
response curve. 

The negative-slope curve shown in 
Figure 1 (d) is a provocative hypothe- 
sis, for if this type of response occurs 
it would indicate incremental doses 
of radiation above the "natural" 
amounts might actually be good for 
people. This is the curve applicable to 

Figure 1 



Number of 




Ja) Environmentalist 
dream curve 


Increase in 


due to 

nuclear plants 

ncrease in 
due to all 
social activities- 
plane trips, 

and so forth 

such dietary elements as zinc and cal- 
cium. Calcium is also necessary for 
good health, but overdoses will cause 
cancer in bulls. In fact, certain exper- 
iments have shown enhanced life- 
spans for animals treated with low- 
level radiation. 

As already pointed out (see Table 
2), the incremental increase of radia- 
tion due to nuclear plants is so small 
as to be virtually indetectable by any 
methods— if there is any effect at all. 
This is due to two interrelated facts: 
First, the less than 1 millirem increase 
per person per year due to nuclear 
power is less than one-half of 1 per- 
cent of normal exposures; and sec- 
ond, the biological findings con- 
cerned with thresholds and 
physiological repair make it virtually 
certain that any damage from low 
doses of radiation or any other low- 
level insults is "repaired." Therefore, 
the phenomenon of high-intensity- 
induced disease does not relate to 
low-level effects at all. 

The extrapolation of large-dose ef- 
fects to low-dose potential effects is 
a sop to the hysteria of the antinuclear 
antitechnology forces and results 
from the state of ignorance that exists 
in the biomedical sciences today. As 
a first approximation it is legitimate to 
look to epidemiological findings to 
give direction to various investigative 
efforts; but this should never be mis- 
taken for science. Any scientific ef- 
forts concerned with the relationship 
of radiation and biological events 
must demand a causal and not cor- 
relative explanation of effects. 

For example, naturally occurring ra- 
diation within our body results in 
more than 500,000 radioactive disin- 
tegrations per minute (a rate that jus- 
tifies the slogan "nuclear power is 
safer than sex"). Yet, cancer is a dis- 
ease of old age. Obviously, if there is 
a direct correlation between radiation 
and cancer, the causal relationship is 
not very straightforward; otherwise, 
under a continuous assault like this, 


cancers would appear early and uni- 

Similarly, were mutations to directly 
reflect radioactive insults, the cumu- 
lative effects over the eons should 
have resulted in widespread genetic 
disorders and infertility in the popu- 
lation, but this is just not the case. 

This implies that although the phys- 
ics of ionizing radiation is somewhat 
understood, the effects in the biolog- 
ical realm of these energies must be 
of a qualitatively different character, 
and thus must be approached as a 
scientific problem whose solution will 
yield fundamental insights into the 
unique nature of energy transforma- 
tions and biological processes. 
Paranoia Versus Reality 

The environmentalist dream curve 
is just a mathematical representation 
of their hysteria. Califano's "10 will 
die from Three Mile Island" is based 
on mathematical juggling with no ba- 
sis in reality. Even if a correlation were 
shown, which is not the case, the 
argument that radiation causes cancer 
would still be based on reductionist 
reasoning: I saw food appear in my 
doggie bowl every evening after I 
heard the noise of clanking cans. 
Therefore, when I am hungry I rattle 
tin cans to make the food appear. 

Further research into energy trans- 
formations such as that of Dr. Sodi 
Pallares (featured in this issue of Fu- 
sion) will lead to a better understand- 
ing of radiation and other crucial 
questions. Only in the paranoid world 
of the environmentalists does energy 
represent danger; in our real world 
energy provides the key to the un- 
derstanding of life processes and, ul- 
timately, the negentropic invariant 
underlying all orders of the universe. 

Richard Pollak is on the biological 
science staff of the FEF. 


1. Committee on the Biological Effects of Ioniz- 
ing Radiation of the Division of Medical Sci- 
ences in the National Research Council, "The 
Effects on Populations of Exposure to Low 
Levels of Ionizing Radiations," May 1979. 

2. "Risks Associated with Nuclear Power (Na- 
tional Academy of Science, April 1979). 

3. Herbert Inhaber, "Risk with energy from con- 
ventional and nonconventional sources," Sci- 
ence 203: 718 (1979). 

4. Richard Pollak, "There is no cancer epi- 
demic," Fusion 1 August (1978). 

The hysteria about nuclear waste could wipe out 90 percent of U.S. cancer 
research. Above, a lab at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New 
York City. 

Waste Disposal Dispute 
Threatens Cancer Research 

A few days after the Three Mile 
Island incident, the governor of South 
Carolina announced that the state's 
disposal site for radioactive waste at 
Barnwell would no longer accept the 
liquid scintillation vials that contain 
the solution used in counting radio- 
activity in basic biological research — 
a decision that could shut down 90 
percent of the nation's cancer re- 

The governor's reasons for closing 
the Barnwell facility are directly re- 
lated to the antinuclear propaganda 
after the TMI incident. In addition to 
the scintillation fluid, the governor 
banned the disposal of any low-level 
waste from the TMI plant. 

The liquid scintillation fluid con- 
tains a miniscule amount of radiation, 
so low that by Environmental Protec- 
tion Agency standards it could be 
poured down the drain. The fluid also 
contains a more toxic chemical, tol- 
uene. The toluene-containing fluid 
could readily be incinerated— except 
for the public hysteria generated by 
the environmentalists about contam- 
ination from low-level radiation. 

The vials of scintillation fluid are 
used routinely to measure metabolic 
activity by following the rate of me- 
tabolism of some specific molecule 
tagged with a tracer element such as 

carbon-14 or tritium. This biochemical 
technology is vital to understanding 
the subtle metabolic changes associ- 
ated with cancer, aging, and related 
frontier areas in medical research, and 
every major medical research facility 
uses hundreds of these vials of fluid 

About 90 percent of U.S. medical 
centers and universities rely on the 
Barnwell waste disposal site in South 
Carolina, because it is cheaper for 
them to transport the scintillation vials 
there than to Nevada or the state of 
Washington, the locations of the na- 
tion's other disposal facilities for low- 
level radiation waste. (Labs report that 
waste shipping costs to Nevada are 70 
percent higher than to South Caro- 

For a major cancer research center, 
such as Sloan Kettering in New York 
City, this situation threatens to make 
metabolic isotope studies impossible. 
"The impact will be tremendous," 
said a radiation disposal safety officer 
at Sloan Kettering. "The volume [of 
liquid scintillation fluid] is enormous, 
roughly 20,000 gallons a year. . . . 
We'll be up to our armpits in scintil- 
lation vials until the problem is solved. 
Research will become impractical in 
a month." 

— Carol Cleary 


A Shocking Statement? 

The sponsors of this advertisement believe it is far more 
shocking that not one of the eight government-appointed 
commissions supposedly investigating the March 28 
incident at the Three Mile Island nuclear generating plant 
has announced its intention to make the question of 
sabotage the focus of its inquiry. 

Yet the facts surrounding this so-called "biggest nuclear 
accident in the history of the United States" overwhelmingly 
point to sabotage as the most probable cause of events. 


Authoritative engineering studies compiled over decades 
have demonstrated that the odds are 1 million to 1 that the 
sequence of vaive operations that triggered the initial 
emergency at TMI did not occur as a "natural 
phenomenon" or as a mechanical failure. 
Question: Why has this point remained unpublicized by the 
responsible authorities? 


In fact, it was not mechanical failure that initiated the TMI 
incident. The two initiating events that set off the TMI 
incident were ( 1 ) the loss of main feedwater flow to the 
steam generators followed by (2) the loss of feedwater flow 
in two separate emergency back-up systems. It is now 
known that both these events were caused by "human 

Question: Was this human intervention intentional, as is 
most probable statistically, or was it "human or operator 
error," as ciaimed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? 


Both back-up feedwater cooling systems reportedly had 
been shut down for two days at the time of the triggering 
events, a flagrant violation of federal safety standards. In 
addition, the shutdown of the feedwater cooling system that 
triggered the incident was accidentally initiated by someone 
performing maintenance on the feedwater filtering system. 
Question: Why has no adequate explanation been given for 
these bizarre occurrences? 


According to the version of events now being suggested by 
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in congressional 
testimony, a valve was supposedly closed in each of these 
back-up feedwater systems during a separate required test 
of each system 42 hours earlier. The NRC then assumes 
that these valves must have "mistakenly" been left closed 
following these tests, even though very strict check-off and 
sign-off procedures were used during these tests. According 
to testimony, the proper procedures were followed and the 
valves were checked and signed off as open by at least two 
groups of operating personnel. Finally, it is then assumed 
that Ave shifts of key plant operators must have overlooked 
or ignored alarm lights, open switches, warning tags, and 
other safety devices and operating procedures designed to 
alert them to the shutdown of backup systems prior to the 
initiating event. 

Question: Is an explanation of simple "human error" 


Nuclear sabotage has been reported elsewhere. 
Approximately one month after the Three Mile Island 
incident, someone poured lye (caustic soda) on new fuel 
bundles at the Virginia Electric Power Company's Surry II 
nuclear power plant, with the intention of causing severe 
economic damage. On June 17 the Newport News Daily 
Press reported that a Surry employee admitted to the FBI 
that he and an accomplice were responsible for the 
sabotage to force new security measures at the plant. 
Question: In light of this Surry II sabotage, why haven't the 
FBI and other investigating bodies taken up the question of 
sabotage at TMI? 


The antinuclear "environmentalist" lobby in this country is 
committed to the elimination of nuclear power used for 
peaceful purposes, including the generation of electrical 
energy. The antinuclear groups are very well funded by 
foundations and other zero-growth financial institutions. It is 

estimated that the funding level is to the tune of at least 
5300 million a year, some of it from tax-exempt foundations 
like the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, 
and the Stern Fund. 


Significant sections of U.S. print and electronic media 
deliberately did their utmost to generate mass panic among 
the American people over the events at Three Mile Island. 
Much of the information presented was at best gross 
distortion and in many cases outright lies. Front-page media 
coverage included such headlines as "Radiation Pierces 
Four Foot Thick Walls." "Baffled Scientists Stuggle to Ward 
Off A-Plant Meltdown," "Bubble Will Cause HBIast," and 
similar scientific absurdities. On April 8, the Atlanta 
Constitution documented instances where television 
reporters asked residents of Middletown, Pennsylvania to 
stay out of camera range while they put "For Sale" signs on 
the houses. Later these reporters toid the story of an 
"abandoned city" on the evening news. 


These press distortions were given a helping hand by NRC 
statements during the incident asserting that a core 
meltdown and/or hydrogen gas bubble explosion could 
occur at Three Mile Island, with the possibility of mass 
deaths and widespread exposure of the population to 
dangerous levels of radiation. Yet NRC officials and analysts 
knew at the time that none of this was true and that, in fact, 
a hydrogen explosion in the reactor vessel and a core 
meltdown were not possible! About three weeks ago, NRC 
spokesmen acknowledged that the original NRC statements 
should never have been released. Why were they issued? 


A mass of evidence points to the existence of a top-down 
policy to sabotage the development of nuclear power 
throughout the United States. The strong possibility exists 
that government agencies are directly involved. Less than a 
week before the Three Mile island events, the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency was established as a 
military type of command-and-control center with power to 
allocate "strategic resources" and facilitate production 
transfers to deal with so-called meg a disasters. This Federal 
Emergency Management Agency is the same agency that is 
now being geared up to run the highly suspicious oil and 
gasoline shortages. 

FACT 10 

Beginning in 1976, the elite New York Council on Foreign 
Relations initiated its "Project for the 1980s," a series of 
studies asserting that "the controlled disintegration of the 
world economy" was a reasonable goal for the decade 
ahead. Depopulation and deindustrialization are explicit 
parts of this disintegration. Many of those who worked on 
the project are now ranking members of the Carter 
Administration; for example. Secretary of State Vance and 
Treasury Secretary Blumenthai. Another cothinker, 
Department of Energy Secretary James Schlesinger, 
promoted such zero-growth policies at the June 4 meeting 
of the international Association of Energy Economists in 
Washington, D.C., where he stated "Neoclassical models of 
economics no longer work. . . . The neo-Malthusian model is 
more relevant to the problems we face in energy." Three 
days later in a department press conference Schlesinger 
stated that after TMI, the "nuclear option is barely viable." 
Question: Is the highly suspicious TMI incident merely an 
element in a larger policy of energy and economic 
shutdown? There appears to be a tight interconnection 
between the institutions formulating the Mafthusian policy, 
the government agencies that implement it, the foundations 
that disseminate the policy and fund the antinuclear groups. 




The Independent Commission of Inquiry is a group of 
private citizens committed to investigate these facts and 
answer these questions no matter where they may lead. 

The Commission was initiated by the Fusion Energy 
Foundation during the Three Mile Island incident, when 

FFF scientists realized that the American people were being 
subjected to a major misinformation campaign on the 
Harrisburg events. 

Members of the Commission know the nuclear industry 
inside and out, as designers, producers, and consumers of 
nuclear power. The Commission includes scientists, 
business people, trade unionists, and community leaders. 
The Commission has no power to subpoena witnesses or 
compel testimony. Nor does it have the organized might of 
U.S. corporations behind it; indeed, most industry people 
are behaving as if the problems raised by Three Mile Island 
could be solved merely by keeping a "low profile." 
What we do have is the intelligence and integrity of the vast 
majority of Americans, who must be educated and 
mobilized to ensure that any attempt to sabotage our vita! 
energy supplies is exposed and the threat to our national 
security efficiently removed. 

As a first step, the Independent Commission of Inquiry is 
committed to reprint this ad in major newspapers 
throughout the nation. We are asking anyone who can 
contribute to establishing the truth about Three Mile Island 
to come forward and tell his or her story to our 
investigators. Confidentiality will be respected. 
The Commission will publish a full report on its inquiry by 
July 31 and will make this report available to all other 
agencies investigating Three Miie Island. 

Initiating Members of the 
Commission (partial listing) 

Emil Decembre Henry Hill 

Thorofare N.J. 
Jon Oilbertson 

Frank Hewes 

What You Can Do 

We do not intend to stop there. The Independent 
Commission of Inquiry plans a major educational organizing 
effort to bring to light all the facts bearing on the decision 
the United States must make on the future of nuclear 
power. That decision will be either a nuclear shutdown, or a 
policy that is actually in America's interest— the gearing up 
of nuclear exports and economic growth that will guarantee 
energy growth for future generations. Other leading 
nations— France, West Germany, Japan— not only have 
already committed themselves to such a policy of nuclear 
energy development but have chastised the United States 
for not having a similar commitment. 
We need your help to reprint this ad and to fund our future 

I want the true story of Three Mile Island and nuclear 
power to be made public. Here is my check in support 
of the Independent Commission of Inquiry. 

Si, 000 s 500 S100 $50 .... 

$10 Other 

contributions and communications to the Independent Commission or 
Inquiry on Three Wle Island. Bo* 1443. Radio City Station, New York. IS Y 
10019. Tel (212)2653749. 

Please contact me personally so that I can be of 
further assistance. Q 


The NRC Report on TMI: 
Refusal to Investigate Sabotage 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
released an official report Aug. 3 on 
its investigation of the March 28 inci- 
dent at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 
nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pa. Al- 
though the report poses sabotage or 
criminal negligence as one of six pos- 
sible causes of the initiating events of 
the nuclear accident, the NRC conclu- 
sion stops short of what its findings 
dictate: that the Three Mile Island in- 
cident was caused by a willful act of 
sabotage or negligence. Incredibly, the 
NRC investigators chose not to pur- 
sue an investigation of the sabotage 
possibility, even after they eliminated 
the other five possible causes of the 
initiating events. 

The several-hundred-page report ,-ti- 
tled "Investigation into the March 28, 
1979 Three Mile Island Accident by 
the Office of Inspection and Enforce- 
ment" (NUREG-0600), contains reveal- 
ing and important information concern- 
ing the two initiating events of TMI 
incident: the loss of main feedwater 
flow and the consequent loss of all 
emergency feedwater flow. 

The information presented tends to 
confirm what the investigations of the 
Fusion Energy Foundation and the In- 
dependent Commission to Investigate 
the Three Mile Island Incident, a group 
initiated by the FEF, charged back in 
April: Namely, that the evidence indi- 
cates that the events initiating the TMI 
incident were manually induced; that 
the loss of main feedwater flow was 
caused by personnel performing main- 
tenance on the filter system; and that 
the emergency feedwater systems had 
been manually put out of service. 

Despite the findings that the report 
lays out at length, the NRC conclu- 
sion (as well as all the press accounts 
of the report) focuses on what hap- 
pened after the event got started— 
not on what caused the initiating 
events of the incident. 

The Valve Question 

The key here is the valve question, 
and the report in fact points out new 
information indicating that the initiat- 

ing events were manually induced. The 
report reveals that for several weeks 
before the incident there had been 
significant and continual leakage of 
reactor primary coolant water out of 
the electromatic relief valve (EMOV) 
and/or one or both of the pressuriz- 
er code safety valves that are connect- 
ed to the pressurize r tank system. It 
was the EMOV valve that failed to close 
after opening automatically some six 
seconds into the incident in order to 
relieve the initial pressure build up. 
This stuck valve went undetected by 
the operators for more than two hours, 
and it eventually caused the damage 
to the reactor core fuel. 

Without visually inspecting the valve, 
the NRC investigators could not ascer- 
tain whether this coolant leakage con- 
tributed to the valve's failure. How- 
ever, during the same weeks, the 
valve's temperature was in the range 
of 180 degrees to 200 degrees Fahren- 
heit, up to 70 degrees over its speci- 
fied normal temperature of 130 degrees 
Fahrenheit. Considering the fact that 
the valve had a previous history of 
sticking open and considering the nor- 
mal engineering judgment of the ex- 
pected operation of a relief valve that 
had been operating for weeks well 
above its normal operating tempera- 
tures, it is quite reasonable to assume 
that the valve would have failed. 

If someone knew this condition (and 
it was generally known among plant 
personnel), that person could reason- 
ably expect this valve to stick open, 
particularly if the emergency feedwat- 
er system were shut off, which would 
ensure a high primary coolant system 
temperature and pressure. Further- 
more, with this valve stuck open and 
all heat-removal capabilities shut off 
because of the closed emergency feed- 
water valves, plant operators would 
have a very difficult time figuring out 
what had happened. 

This is precisely what did happen, 
as the NRC report points out, and it is 
important to investigate why and how 
the valve stuck open in terms of who 

manually closed the emergency feed- 
water valves, one of the two initiating 

The FEF continues to contend that 
the two initiating events were caused 
either by sabotage or by the gross neg- 
ligence of the reactor plant operators. 
There is no question that the opera- 
tors are competent, experienced, and 
qualified personnel who would not 
have bypassed every single safety pre- 
caution and procedure. Therefore, sab- 
otage remains the most likely cause. 

This contention is supported by a 
report produced by a leading nuclear 
safety expert at the Massachusetts In- 
stitute of Technology— the Rasmussen 
Report— that places the probability of 
the sequence of events that occurred 
at Three Mile Island in the order of 
magnitude of one in a million. 

Until it is determined who closed 
the emergency feedwater valves and 
why, an investigator has to presume 
that the reactor was set up, waiting 
for a loss of main feedwater flow to 
initiate at least a very serious abnor- 
mal operating condition. 

Sabotage or Negligence? 

The NRC report posed six possible 
ways the emergency feedwater valves 
could have come to be closed, but 
concluded that a "review of all possi- 
ble causes revealed no reason to be- 
lieve that any of them was the specific 
cause of the closed valves" (p. I-4-7). 

However, the NRC findings do not 
support this general conclusion. In 
fact, the findings eliminate four of the 
six possible causes and, if the opera- 
tors' sworn testimony and signed test- 
ing documents are considered, the 
findings remove a fifth cause. Accord- 
ing to all information available to 
date, including that from the presi- 
dential commission's investigation, 
these valves were manually opened 
42 hours before the incident after 
a surveillance test of the emergency 
feedwater system. 

The report states (p. I-4-7-): "The 
operators and supervisors responsible 
for conducting the surveillance test 
on March 26, 1979 were interviewed 
.... The operator who actually man- 
ipulated the valves involved stated that 
he specifically recalled opening that 
valve. The investigation found no basis 
for rejecting his assertion. If his asser- 



(V Both main feedwatei pumps were shut down, probably as a result of maintenance work on the feedwater filter 
system. (2) Plant operators then assumed automatic startup of the emergency feedwater pumps, because they 
were unaware that someone had shut the block valve in each system prior to the shutdown of the main feedwater 
pumps. The question of sabotage concerns the closing of these valves. (3) Six to eight seconds into the incident, 
the electromatic relief valve on the pressurizer tank opened as designed to release small amounts of steam and 
reduce the reactor coolant system pressure. A few seconds later, as the pressure decreased, this valve failed to 
close as designed and continued to release steam. 

In the first few minutes into the accident, the temperature, pressure, and pressurizer level in the reactor coolant 
system began to return to what the operators normally expected to happen after a main feedwater flow shutdown. 
This continued to mislead plant operators into dealing with the situation in a way opposite to what they would 
have done had they known the true situation. 
General Public Utilities Corporation 

tion was incorrect and the valves were 
left closed after the test, the investiga- 
tion found no information to explain 
how the closed valves would have 
gone unnoticed during the 42 hours 
between the test and the accident." 

How these valves got closed there- 
fore, remains a mystery to the NRC. 
The report then proceeds to the sixth 
possibility that "the valves were 
closed by the overt act of an individu- 
al." Using a convoluted argument, 
the NRC report concludes that this 
isn't very likely either. The NRC says 
it simply does not know how the 
valves were closed. 

On review of their information and 

reasoning on this sixth possible cause, 
it is clear that the NRC staff never 
really investigated the possibility of 
sabotage, nor did they want to. Yet, 
based on their own information pre- 
sented imhe report, sabotage or crim- 
inal negligence is the only possible 
cause remaining for the closure of the 
two valves. 

The report does devote a small sec- 
tion to the "Possibility of Plant Sab- 
otage" — included "as a result of the 
high degree of public concern asso- 
ciated with the possibility of sabotage 
or adverse human actions having 
caused or contributed in some man- 
ner to the severity of the March 28 

incident at TMI" (p. 1-1-35). The ques- 
tions were asked by a technical NRC 
inspector to a technical plant operat- 
or or employee in an informal discus- 
sion. The report states that the 
"responses ranged from direct nega- 
tive responses to disbelief that sabo- 
tage could even be considered" 
(p. 1-1-36). Under such circumstances, 
who would admit to closing or know- 
ing who closed the emergency feed- 
water valves? 

The report goes on to note 
(p. 1-1-36): "Vocal antinuclear senti- 
ment appears to have been relatively 
absent prior to the incident. Relation- 
ships between the local governments 


and licensee management appear to 
have been of a tolerant nature." 

Therefore, the report says, "Those 
conditions commonly associated or 
viewed as causative factors precipi- 
tating industrial sabotage were not 
identified by the investigation as 
being present at the time of the 

Such a statement comes from the 
mouths of babes — or of liars. Nuclear 
power and the nuclear industry have 
been barraged with environmentalist 
attacks for years and, particularly since 
the formation of the Department of 
Energy, they have faced budgetary cut- 
backs, court delays, and program can- 
cellations. As many in the industry 
admit, as a result of this "antinuclear 
sentiment," the U.S. nuclear industry 
is for all intents and purposes shut 

Having thus reasoned, the commis- 
sion then discusses the amount of ef- 
fort needed to determine who closed 
the valves in question and why the 
question is not worth pursuing 
(p. 1-1-37): 

"This, investigation evaluated the ef- 
fort that would be required to attempt 
to identify the party or parties who 
closed the emergency feedwater sys- 
tem block valves for whatever unde- 
fined reason that may have motivated 
them. The investigation revealed that 
the two valves in question were capa- 
ble of being operated from three spe- 
cific locations: the control room, the 
480V Substation panels at the 305 el- 
evation of the auxiliary building and 
the physical location of each valve. 

"Checks of the licensee's security 
access badging records showed ap- 
proximately 470 licensee personnel and 
260 contractor/vendor personnel 
would have had unescorted access to 
one or more of these locations on any 
of the two work days preceeding the 
March 28 incident. Records exist 
whereby the identity of the contrac- 
tor/vendor personnel entering the pro- 
tected area could be retrieved. How- 
ever, the 470 licensee personnel are 
only logged in at the site perimeter 
and need only display their photo ID 
badge (issued only after psychologi- 
cal screening and preemployment 
checks are complete) to secure access 
to the TMI protected areas (Units 1 

and 2, auxiliary building, turbine 
building and environs). 

"Further investigative effort of the 
magnitude that would be required to 
specifically identify which of the more 
than 600 personnel did access the pro- 
tected areas during the period March 
26, 1979 through March 28, 1979 was 
deemed unwarranted at this time in 
view of the absence of any intelli- 
gence that adverse human activity was 
involved in the accident." 

Far from being an argument against 
further investigation, the NRC report 
outlines the sort of major investiga- 
tive effort that was undertaken a month 
after TMI, by the Virginia Electric Power 
Company, owners of the Surry-ll nu- 
clear plant whose fuel rods were mys- 
teriously damaged. In one month's 
time, with the help of the FBI, lie de- 
tector tests for all personnel, and a 
thorough investigation of the sabo- 
tage possibility, the two individuals 
responsible for sabotaging the plant 
were identified and arrested. 

One might ask at this point why the 
NRC concluded that it was not worth 
trying to find out how the valves got 
closed. Was it not important in the 
chain of events? Would not the elec- 
tromatic relief valve have stuck open 

Again, the NRC is caught in a con- 
tradiction. At the same time that it 
says the matter is not worth investi- 
gating, the NRC's evaluation of the 
effect of these closed valves is (p. I-4- 
10): "The delay in automatic initiation 
of emergency feedwater for eight min- 
utes contributed to an early recovery 
toward normal values of certain RCS 
[reactor coolant system] parameters 
upon which the operators concen- 
trate. This recovery of key turbine 
trip/reactor RCS parameters misled the 
operators into believing that their ac- 
tions had been successful in limiting 
the severity of the transient. This er- 
roneous belief led them to initiate the 
routine subsequent operator actions 
that were normal for the assumed tran- 
sient. These actions occupied the op- 
erators' attention and detracted from 
their opportunity to establish a cor- 
rect analysis of the plant conditions. 

"This investigation did not conclude 
what the ultimate course of events of 

the accident would have been, had 
emergency feedwater been introduced 
to the OTSGs [once through steam 
generators] as designed." 

Essentially, the NRC is saying, the 
closure of these valves caused partic- 
ular pressure, temperature, and pres- 
surizer level conditions in the reactor 
that led the plant operators to act es- 
sentially the opposite of how they 
would have acted if the valves had 
been open. In other words, these con- 
ditions misled the operators into be- 
lieving that the EMO V valve had closed 
when in fact it remained open. 

It took nearly 20 minutes (after the 
valves were finally opened) to get feed- 
water flow completely reestablished 
in the two steam generators, which 
had boiled dry, so that decay heat 
could be normally removed from the 

The closed valves caused reactor 
conditions that misled and confused 
the operators for at least the first 30 
minutes into the incident. 

Another question unresolved by the 
investigation is just how the loss of 
main feedwater flow (and turbine-trip) 
was initiated in the first place by the 
filter maintenance crew — a question 
that also bears on the issue of sabotage. 

The loss of .main feedwater flow is 
expected from time to time because 
the reactor plant protective system is 
extremely sensitive to the slightest mal- 
function or abnormal operating con- 
dition. The slightest "mistake" by the 
maintenance crew — intentional or un- 
intentional — during the filter cleaning 
procedures ongoing at the time could 
easily have caused the automatic loss 
of main feedwater flow and trip-out of 
the turbine. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that 
the report's conclusions, upon which 
the press accounts of the NRC's find- 
ings focused, did not even mention 
the two initiating events of the inci- 
dent: the loss of main feedwater flow 
followed by the loss of all emergency 
feedwater flow. 

Instead, the NRC's conclusions 
blame the event and its severity pri- 
marily on operator error, misjudg- 
ments, "mind sets," and equipment 
failure — conclusions not backed by 
their own findings. 

—Ion Gilbertson 


The Rogovin Report 

A Schizoid View of TMI 

The final report of the Nuclear Reg- 
ulatory Commission's Special Inquiry 
Group on Three Mile Island, released 
Jan. 24, is especially interesting be- 
cause it presents the distinctly differ- 
ent viewpoints of two groups of peo- 
ple: engineers and scientists on the 
one hand and antinuclear lawyers on 
the other. In fact, the report is almost 
schizophrenic in nature, in that por- 
tions of the conclusions and recom- 
mendations bear no resemblance to 
the actual technical evidence presen- 
ted in the report. 

The Special Inquiry Croup was hired 
as an independent investigative body 
by the NRC, which chose the Wash- 
ington, D.C. law firm of Rogovin, Stern 
& Huge to conduct the inquiry, with 
Mitchell Rogovin, a senior partner in 
the firm, as study director. The key to 
the report's schizophrenia is Rogovin 
and his career as an environmentalist 
and antinuclear advocate (see box). 

The Special Inquiry Croup itself was 
a mixture of technical specialists and 
lawyers. Most of the technical people 
and technical support staff appear to 
have been of high quality, and some 
of the technical consultants are well- 
known names in the nuclear industry. 
The report gives the distinct impres- 
sion, however, that these technical 
people carried out investigations and 
evaluations, wrote up the results, and 
turned them over to the Jawyers — 
Rogovin and staff — who then wrote 
the conclusions and recommendations 
without any regard for the technical 
report. It looks like the summary of 
the technical evidence presented in 
volume 1 of the report was also writ- 
ten by the lawyers. 

Competent Technical Analysis 

The report's technical presentation 
of what happened during the first week 
after the March 28 incident is proba- 
bly the best summary that has been 
made by any of the investigative groups 
of what actually happened. 

This part of the report makes it abso- 
lutely clear that the incident that began 
at 4:00 AM March 28, 1979 was over at 
7:50 PM that same evening, less than 16 
hours later. The events that occurred 
after that, especially during the next 
four days, were either contrived or 
completely misinterpreted by the news 
media, the NRC, or other government 

agencies as a result of ignorance, poor 
judgment, or incorrect information 
due to poor communications. 

For example, the report states: "At 
7:50 PM after a successful bump (run- 
ning the pumps for a few seconds! 
the operators put the 1A coolant pump 
into normal operation. This puts the 
reactor into the forced-cooling mode, 
at high pressures, and terminates the 
major phase of the accident. For the 
first time since a few minutes after 
4:00 AM that morning, the plant has 

been returned to a relatively stable 
condition. The reactor will now remain 
in this forced-cooling high-pressure 
mode for several weeks, gradually 
cooling down" [emphasis added]. 

As for the events that took place in 
the next few days — the radioactive fis- 
sion gas release scare, the evacuation 
hysteria, and the hydrogen bubble 
fraud — the technical summary states 
the facts: 

"The accident at Three Mile Island 
did not result in radioactive release 
levels that posed any threat to public 
health, even in the long run. Public 
alarm over radioactivity fueled by the 
governor's evacuation advisory to 
pregnant women and preschool chil- 
dren two days after the accident, and 
the fear caused by reports the next 
day and afterwards of a possible hy- 
drogen bubble explosion, turn out to 
have been vastly exaggerated by the 
NRC's disorganized response to the 

Bedtime Story 

The report continues to point out 
how badly these next few days were 

"Wednesday it was a reactor out of 
control; Thursday everything was fine; 
Friday morning, there is a radioactive 
release scare and an evacuation false 
alarm; and the bedtime story Friday 
night is a possible meltdown. Now 
NRC Chairman Hendrie is working on 

Mitchell Rogovin 

Dennis Brack Black Star 

an interpretation that will eclipse them 
all before the day is out.... To this 
day, months after the TMI-2 accident, 
no one seems quite sure what started 
Joe Hendrie worrying about a hydro- 
gen explosion inside the Unit 2 reac- 
tor vessel; only that it seemed to hit 
him Friday night " 

Finally, the report concludes, "Hen- 
drie's fears will prove groundless, as 
he will be the first to admit. The hy- 
drogen never explodes in the reactor 
vessel; it blows up instead, in the 

The technical report vindicates 
Metropolitan Edison, the operator of 
TMI that was made the scapegoat for 
most everything that went wrong dur- 
ing those days. Even though mistakes 
were made during the early hours of 
this incident, the report says, the TMI 
engineers and operators performed 
their job quite well and, on the whole, 
did what they should have done. Most 
of the "mistakes" made are attributed 
to the government agencies, the NRC, 
the Pennsylvania Emergency Manage- 
ment Agency, and the Federal Emer- 
gency Management Agency. 

As for Met Ed being told to quit 
making public statements the report 
says: "On balance, the quality of Met 

Ed's information has not been that 
bad — overall at least as accurate, if 
not more so, than the NRC over the 
course of the accident.... NRC's con- 
tinuing refusal to collaborate with the 
utility on plant status briefings is con- 
sistent with the agency's original fixa- 
tion on avoiding the appearance of 
conflict of interest. The NRC has been 
inordinately touchy about appearing 
in any way to assume joint responsi- 
bility for plant operations with Met Ed 
during the accident. Be all that as it 
may, just now seems an unfortunate 
time for Met Ed to lose its voice, since 
at the moment the utility is accurate 
in its evaluation of the plant status, is 
making the right moves to bring it to 
cold shutdown, and seems inclined to 
give more details. After a sorry start, 
Met Ed has regained its composure." 
The Bubble Story 

On Met Ed's response and handling 
of the hydrogen bubble, the report 

"The Met Ed, GPU (General Public 
Utilities), and B & W (Babcock & Wil- 
cox) people who are controlling the 
plant do not follow Hendrie's new line 
of reasoning for a minute — they are 
convinced that the excess hydrogen 
in the system prevents the freeing of 

Who Is Mitchell Rogovin? 

Here are the credentials of Mitchell Rogovin, the attorney whom the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission selected to head its independent investi- 
gation of Three Mile Island. 

• He is a fellow of and general counsel to the Institute for Policy Studies, 
a group that is on public record as involved in the funding, training, and 
deploying of environmental-terrorist groups, including the Baader Mein- 
hof, the Weathermen, and Black September. 

• He is a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, whose 
stated policy in its 7980s Project is the "controlled disintegration" of the 
world economy. 

• His law firm, Rogovin, Stern, & Huge has been taking the lead in 
environmentalist cases in California, including the "water case," which 
seeks to establish that federal waters will not be available to persons who 
own more than 160 acres. 

• He has been vice chairman of the Center for Law and Social Policy, an 
avowedly antinuclear group that, among other things, has filed three suits 
to prevent the export of nuclear fuel to the prodevelopment government 
of Indira Gandhi. 

• He has been general counsel to Common Cause, one of the most 
antiindustrial, zero growth operations on the U.S. political scene. 

oxygen. Nevertheless, such is the state 
of their image with the media that 
they are not eager to make the matter 

However, Met Ed overcomes this 
hesitation: "Herbein [Met Ed vice pres- 
ident] has some news; the hydrogen 
bubble has been reduced to two-thirds 
its Friday dimensions, and the crisis at 
TMI 2 is over. Herbein, it will turn 
out, is correct; but who is paying at- 
tention to Herbein these days?" 

"An hour later, Denton [Harold Den- 
ton, the NRC's on-site man in charge] 
says the crisis is not over, gladdening 
the hearts of a nation of Sunday head- 
line-writers with a perfect balance of 
stories; 'It's Over'— 'It's Not Over.' 
Denton also takes issue with Met Ed's 
figures on the bubble size. Four days 
later, on Tuesday, April 3, Denton fi- 
nally announces in a press conference 
to the world 'the bubble has been elim- 
inated, for all practical purposes.' " 

The report continues: "Asked why 
the bubble had gone away, Denton 
replied: 'I think it was a little bit 
because of our actions and maybe a 
little bit of serendipity.' Although prob- 
ably not intending to do so, Denton 
seemed to have given credit to the 
NRC for removing the bubble. To the 
contrary, as NRC inspector Charles 
Gallina, who had been at the site from 
the beginning of the accident, ob- 
served, 'The hydrogen bubble did not 
miraculously disappear, it was sys- 
tematically and professionally elimi- 
nated by Met Ed operators.' In fact, 
studies performed for the Special In- 
quiry Group show that the bubble was 
probably all gone some two days be- 
fore Denton made it official." 

Finally, the report concludes: "In 
an investigation like this, the very pur- 
pose of which is to focus on what 
went wrong and what needs changing, 
it is inevitable that less attention than 
is deserved will be given to what 'went 
right' — the strong points in the system. 
Chief among these is the fact that the 
'defense in depth' concept worked to 
protect public health and safety. In 
spite of multiple equipment malfunc- 
tions, human failures, and the crea- 
tion of conditions in the reactor and 
auxiliary buildings that were never con- 
templated in the design of <he plant's 

FUSION April 198u 

safety systems, the utility and its en- 
gineering support staff were able to 
bring the system to a stable condition 
without releases of radioactive mate- 
rials to the atmosphere that could have 
resulted in significant health effects 
to those living near the plant." 
Technical Report Junked 
Given all these conclusions, it is 
hard to see the connection of the re- 
port's technical assessment of the TMI 
incident to the report's overall conclu- 
sions—except that the technical assess- 
ment was completely ignored by the 
Rogovin team. 

For example, the report proposes 
that some private or public consorti- 
um take over Met Ed's and presuma- 
bly all of CPU's reactors, as well as 
reactors from many of the other utility 
companies. It recommends: "The char- 
tering of an operating consortium with 
the capability to operate the plants 
of a number of utilities on either a 
contract or 'receivership' basis." This 
is nothing less than a complete take- 
over of the utility industry by the 

The Rogovin report then makes two 
crucial recommendations sure to set 
the U.S. nuclear industry back even 
further— if not kill it completely. The 
first is a recommendation to "estab- 
lish an Office of Public Counsel; and 
agency funding of intervenors who 

make material, substantive contribu- 
tions to licensing and rule making 

This will simply provide full gov- 
ernment funding for groups like the 
Union of Concerned Scientists, the 
Natural Resources Defense Council, var- 
ious Ralph Naders, Barry Commoners, 
and Common Cause John Gardners 
to do more of what they are already 
doing — shutting down the nuclear in- 
dustry. This recommendation may sat- 
isfy attorney Rogovin and his various 
environmental clients, but it certainly 
does not follow from the technical con- 
clusions of the report. 

Finally, although the report does 

not propose a moratorium on nuclear 
plants (even though the New York 
Times claimed that an earlier draft ver- 
sion of the report did), it recommends 
the next nearest thing: 

"For existing reactors; the promul- 
gation by the NRC of specific criteria 
for determining the minimum evacua- 
tion planning zone around each plant; 
the conditioning of operating licenses 
on such plans being approved and 
workable; and the closing down of 
existing plants that cannot meet these 
new criteria." 

As the antinuclear groups have em- 
phasized, New York, Chicago, and 
other large metropolitan areas can- 
not easily be evacuated, even in the 
event of a nuclear war. As a mini- 
mum, then, what this recommendation 
really means is that plants like New 
York's Indian Points 2 & 3, Chicago's 
Zion plants, and many more, must 
close down. Again, since the report's 
technical conclusions make it very 
clear that all the evacuation nonsense 
around the TMI events was exagger- 
ated and unnecessary, why is evacua- 
tion getting such a big push in the 
overall recommendations? 

Again, the answer lies with Mitchell 
Rogovin and his career as an anti- 
nuclear environmentalist attorney. 

—Jon Gilbertson 

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